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The Enlightenment

Stephanie Barber

2023 00:12:09 United StatesEnglishColorStereo4:316mm film


Yon and Payola find themselves in a Victorian conservatory. They are companionable, disoriented and petulant––they whip wildly through these disembodied states. Payola reads an excerpt of their considerable tome on the age of enlightenment to Yon. Payola's research, and presentation of this research, is a purposeful affront to empirical data, the scientific method and other enlightenment ideals, while reveling in the desire for the revolution and intellectual expansion those thinkers championed. The concepts are undermined by the form and register of their delivery OR the concepts are strengthened by the poetry through which they are presented.

About Stephanie Barber

Stephanie Barber is an American writer and artist. She has created a poetic, conceptual and philosophical body of work in a variety of media. Many of her videos are concerned with the content, musicality and experiential qualities of language. They ferry viewers through philosophical inquiry with the unexpected oars of play, emotionalism, story, and humor. Many balance several seemingly unrelated concepts––subtly suggesting or brazenly demanding a focused and imaginative reception. Many create gently complex, emotional studies. Others are funny; a sorrowful sort of funny. There are videos of obsessive observing and ambient sounds; small artificial fireworks, animals, and silence. They are tightly wound, dense, and light simultaneously.

Barber's films and videos have has been screened nationally and internationally in solo and group shows at MOMA, NY, The Tate Modern, London; The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; The Paris Cinematheque; The Walker Art Center, MN; MOCA Los Angeles, The Wexner Center for Art, OH, among other galleries, museums and festivals. Her essays, stories and poems have been published in books, magazines and online journals.