Saturday, February 14, 2015, 12:00 am

Stephanie Barber:
a folding of risk and taker

Stephanie Barber In Person


701 Mission Street (at Third St)

San Francisco, CA 94103

presented in association with the Cinema Department at San Francisco State University

Admission: $10 general/ $6 Cinematheque members (members, call the box office to reserve your tickets)
Advance tickets available here.

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Deeply philosophical, frequently humorous and deceptively simple in form, the films, video works, poetry and book projects of Stephanie Barber operate at the intersections of spoken, written, composed, conversational and incidental language, reflecting shifting experiential qualities and varying modes of address. This two-part series showcases two major recent works by this prolific Baltimore-based artist: selections from the 30-part series jhana and the rats of james olds (February 12) and the feature-length DAREDEVILS (February 14). In conjunction with this series, Cinematheque is proud to present a beautiful limited-edition publication jhana and the rats of james olds by Stephanie Barber, designed and printed by People I've Loved and Colpa Press. This publication is available for sale at each screening and through our online store.

Barber’s feature-length DAREDEVILS (2013) is a three-part narrative portrait of risk and intimacy, presenting an interview between a young writer and an admired artist as a reverberating life event and turning point. Writes Barber:

The classic rising action, climax and denouement are sculpted, not by cause and effect, but by the subtle movements to and from understanding that are inherent in conversation. Bubbles of intimacy are blown and popped, begin to be blown again.

With an elegant and visually spare pictorial style, DAREDEVILS grounds its subtly moving human dramas in the luminous performances of the actors in its opening scene—artist/filmmaker KimSu Theiler and long time experimental stage actress Flora Coker—whose interpersonal chemistry brings scintillating life to Barber’s expansive and exploratory dialog. With a subsequent scene featuring an intense podcast manifesto (recited by musician Jenny Gräf of Metalux) on the necessity of risk and danger to life and artistic practice, DAREDEVILS gives full expression to Barber’s endlessly playful explorations of linguistic indeterminacy and the gaps, linkages, correspondences and overlaps between verbal and non-verbal expression. A final escape beyond language into the dark of the night features a pop song about love and death composed by Barber using rocks, twigs, leaves and stones found in the forest, while the film itself is bracketed by poetic recitations by renowned Language Poet Susan Howe. Come early (7pm) for a pre-show, as-you-enter excerpt of I Love You, a Valentine’s Day delight (drawn from jhana and the rats of james olds) featuring 789 visitors to Barber’s 2011 artist-in-residence project at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Additional selections from jhana and the rats of james olds will be shown at a free screening on February 12 at San Francisco State University. More information here.

Read Max Goldberg's conversation with Stephanie Barber on DAREDEVILS in Cinema Scope.