Artist: Rosa Barba
Venue: Malmö Konsthall
Exhibition Title: Elements of Conduct
Date: February 18 – May 14, 2017
Full gallery of images, press release, video and link available after the jump.
Rosa Barba at Malmo Konsthall in situ
Images courtesy of the artist and Malmö Konsthall. Photos by Helene Toresdotter.
Barba’s medium is film: her work draws in various ways on filmic methods and genres, and film’s narrative possibilities are a highly important aspect. The result is a series of experimental approaches in which all the elements – the images produced, the sound, and the film projection equipment itself – work together and become conveyors of meaning. Rather than reinforcing the boundaries between genres, her works seem to dissolve them: documentary is combined with fiction, myth with reality, tangible objects with text, so that history is traced through poetic and non-linear time- and landscapes.
In a digital age, Barba’s work continues to develop through the medium of analogue film, as something closer to sculpture and installation; at the Malmö Konsthall, one expression of this is a large single structure placed at the centre of the exhibition. Entitled Blind Volumes, the structure functions as a platform and vertical stage for a number of spatially arranged works, but is able to simultaneously interact with the volume of the exhibition space and the singularity of its architecture. Blind Volumes – a title inspired by Borges’ Library of Babel – functions both as a maze-like passage leading the way for visitors, and as a container of the fictional possibilities and narratives that might be encompassed by an invisible volume. This large-scale installation is flanked by a number of projected film works.
In the two 35-millimetre spatial film projections – Bending to Earth (2015) and the artist’s latest production, From Source to Poem (2016) – Rosa Barba revisits landscapes and cultural contexts that she has observed and traced in numerous previous works. Bending to Earth, a work included in the 2015 Venice Biennale, is filmed from the air, and depicts a kind of ruined landscape – one that is changed, poisoned and irreversibly altered by human intervention. From Source to Poem depicts the genesis and the future of the Western world from the perspective of the Library of Congress’ audio-visual archive, preserving cultural and industrial history. In both films, dizzying images are interwoven with the artist’s fragmentary, synthetic sound collage.
Rosa Barba was born in Agrigento, Sicily, in 1972, and now lives and works in Berlin. She has had solo exhibitions at well-known art institutions including the CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux; Tate Modern, London; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; Albertinum, Dresden; MAXXI, Rome; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge MA; Kunsthaus Zürich and CAC Vilnius. Her work has been shown in art biennials and film festivals around the world, such as the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil, and the 53rd and 56th Venice Biennale, 19th Biennale of Sydney and Performa 13, New York.
Her work is part of numerous international collections and has been widely published – amongst others in the monographic books Rosa Barba: White Is an Image (2011), Rosa Barba: Time as Perspective (2013), both published by Hatje Cantz; Rosa Barba: In Conversation With (2011; Mousse Publishing) and Rosa Barba: The Color Out of Space (2016; published by MIT List Visual Arts Center/Dancing Foxes). Barba’s work has been awarded numerous prizes, such as the 46th International Prize for Contemporary Art, Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco (2015). She is currently exercising the doctorate studies at the Malmö Art Academy.