February 7, 2017 - Malmö Konsthall - Rosa Barba: Elements of Conduct
February 7, 2017

Malmö Konsthall

Rosa Barba, Bending to Earth (still), 2015. Film. © Rosa Barba.

Rosa Barba
Elements of Conduct
February 18–May 14, 2017

Malmö Konsthall
S:t Johannesgatan 7
SE-205 80 Malmö
Sweden

www.konsthall.malmo.se
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Malmö Konsthall marks the arrival of spring with a solo exhibition entitled Elements of Conduct by Berlin-based artist Rosa Barba. It will also be the first exhibition under the new director, Mats Stjernstedt.

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’ "The 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 several formats (70, 35 and 16 millimetre).  

In the two 35-millimetre 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, shortlisted for the Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2017, 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 such well-known art institutions as TATE Modern, London, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, MoMA PS1, New York, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge MA, and CAPC, Bourdeaux. Her works have also been extensively exhibited at art biennials and film festivals around the world, a small sample of which includes the Venice Biennale (2009 and 2015), the Biennale of Sydney, and Performa in New York.

 

Blind Volumes, 2016, comissioned by Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt

From Source to Poem, 2016, co-production: CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux and Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milano, with the participation of Tabakalera, Donostia

 

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