Zoe is Afraid of Flowers

Rachel Echenberg

1997, 08:00 minutes, colour/B&W, English/French


This urban fairy tale follows one female character on an ordinary shopping excursion. Her uncomfortable public presence is intercut with the image of a child and flowers / grass/ dandelions. Using flowers and fire as metaphors, the voice over speaks of connections between fear and beauty in relation to touch. The video juxtaposes an acceptance of learnt ideals in the adult world (primarily ocularcentric) with the desire for a sensory (and perhaps childlike) understanding of the world.

On this particular day the woman finds herself browsing unsuccessfully in a clothing boutique until she suddenly comes across a flower-patterned dress that strikes her intrigue. When she emerges from the dressing room wearing it, she becomes transformed (the image too has dissolved into black and white film with the dress hand painted in red so that it becomes a fire-like animation) She seems to have found some magical link between a passive desire for beauty and a physical acquiring of it. Yet as we watch her walk down the street in this dress, we are left wondering if she will be able to sustain this captured moment of beauty.

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