Palace of Pope is an experimental video composed of found photographs and original text and sound art. A three-act piece, the video moves from poetic rumination both visually and sonically to a brief dialectic narrative to a long list of names and portraits as the sound breaks down and moves towards music.
Throughout the video the images are altered subtly through light, lenses and physical manipulation. The original roughness of the found photographs is present, and then again gone. So that banality and sublimity trade off in response to the poetry of the text.
Balancing between essay film and poem, Palace of Pope moves from poignancy to humor with the grace of a blinking shutter.
Stephanie Barber is an American writer and artist. She has created a poetic, conceptual and philosophical body of work in a variety of media. Her videos are concerned with the content, musicality and experiential qualities of language and her language is concerned with the emotional impact of moments and ideas. Each ferry viewers through philosophical inquiry with the unexpected oars of empathy, play, story and humor.
Barber’s films and videos have 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 videos are distributed by Video Data Bank and her films can be found at Canyon Cinema and Fandor.com. Her books Night Moves and these here separated... were published by Publishing Genius Press in 2013 and 2010 respectively. Her collection of very short stories All The People was published by Ink Press Productions in 2015.
James Glisson at Artforum wrote "...the films of Stephanie Barber engage universal themes—time, death, memory, forgetting, frustration."
Barber is currently a resident artist at The Mt. Royal MFA for Interdisciplinary Art at MICA in Baltimore, MD