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Rosa barba
From Source to Poem
Experimental film | 35mm | color | 12'0'' | Italy / Germany | 2016
"From Source to Poem" is an invitation to think about the spaces in which history and cultural production is preserved in order to be passed on to future generations. On the one hand, it pursues Barba’s research initiated with "The Hidden Conference" (2010-2015) – a three-part film work exploring museum storages and whose title refers to imaginary conversations taking place between artworks inside these invisible spaces – on the other hand, it is a reflection about the obsession of preserving any output of western culture in any possible medium. "From Source to Poem" shifts the focus from artworks into archival storage: Shot at the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center of the Library of Congress in Culpeper, Virginia, and at an enormous solar power plant in the Mojave Desert in California, it juxtaposes images from the largest media archive worldwide with a study of rhythm, and images of cultural with those of industrial production. The film exposes the preservation of cultural outputs, but also their digitisation for the future. A vast number of the archives’ holdings are sound material; a sonic memory which is recovered and mixed in the soundtrack as a mean to set in motion otherwise unlikely dialogues. Filmed and screened on 35mm film, the work itself is preserved in one of the most durable archival forms.
“Rosa Barba’s work is a subtle interrogation into and co-option of industrial cinema-as-subject, via various kinds of what might be understood as “stagings”—of “the local,” the non-actor, gesture, genre, information, expertise and authority, the mundane—and removals from a social realism within which they were observed, and which qualifies them as components of the work, to be framed, redesigned, represented. The effect of which her work contests and recasts truth and fiction, myth and reality, metaphor and material to a disorientating degree, which ultimately extends into a conceptual practice.” (Ian White) Her work has been exhibited at prestigious institutions and biennials worldwide. Most recently, she has had solo exhibitions at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Palacio de Cristal, Madrid (2017); HangarBicocca, Milan (2017); Vienna Secession (2017); Malmö Konsthall (2017); CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, France (2016-2017); Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt (2016); Albertinum, Dresden (2015) and at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge MA (2015). Barba’s work is part of numerous public collections and has been widely published, most recently, in the monographic books "Rosa Barba: From Source to Poem" (2017; published by Hatje Cantz) and "Rosa Barba: The Color Out of Space" (2016; published by MIT List Visual Arts Center/Dancing Foxes). Rosa Barba was awarded various prizes, amongst others the PIAC (International Prize for Contemporary Art) by the Prince Pierre de Monaco Foundation (2016).