Rosa Barba: Inside the Outset: Evoking a Space of Passage

Rosa Barba: Inside the Outset: Evoking a Space of Passage

Point Centre for Contemporary Art

View of Rosa Barba’s  Inside the Outset: Evoking a Space of Passage, 2021, United Nations Buffer Zone, Deryneia, Cyprus. Open-air cinema. Photo: Marios Stylianou. © Rosa Barba.

September 4, 2021
Rosa Barba
Inside the Outset: Evoking a Space of Passage
September 10, 2021
United Nations Buffer Zone

The Mediterranean Sea has a long history as a connecting route for trade and cultural exchange between East and West, but it also marks the separation between North and South. In Cyprus, a 180-kilometer “Dead Zone” also divides between the North and South, and forms the origin point of Rosa Barba’s artistic intervention. The project started seven years ago, when Barba was invited by Point Centre for Contemporary Art in Nicosia and by the curator Mirjam Varadinis to Cyprus. Following this visit, the artist proposed to build a cinema sculpture in the Buffer Zone, continuing an ongoing exploration in her artistic practice of landscape and human intervention in nature.

Barba initiated the idea of an amphitheatre with a permeable screen, on which films could be watched from both the southern and the northern side. Working within this political landscape, she sought to counterbalance existing images of conflict with emphatic expression of solidarity and openness, thus transforming the image of division into a shared experience. The artist has envisioned the location of this open-air installation to function as a meeting point for members of all communities on the island. To this end, she has been working with Point Centre for Contemporary Art, Famagusta Avenue Garage (Deryneia’s centre for intercommunal activities), and with an Advisory Board of artists from both sides of the Buffer Zone in order to develop a programme of activities. Her intention is to highlight the capacity of the arts to create spaces of interaction and coexistence. The Open-Air Cinema will be extended as a long-term project made available to Deryneia Municipality and to Cyprus’ art and film communities to initiate a multifaceted dialogue. 

For the construction of the Open-Air Cinema, the artist focused on incorporating the theatre into Deryneia’s natural environment, avoiding materials alien to the landscape. In collaboration with architect Maya Shopova, Barba worked with rammed earth material on site. 

In parallel, the artist shot a new film: Inside the Outset: Evoking a Space of Passage (2021) in Cyprus. Through its poetic manoeuvring of the island’s politically charged landscapes, the film subverts its Aphroditesque persona. The camera, through its liquid honesty, wades through and comments on the serrated tautness between the captured, the capturing, the captivated, and the captivating. The film also includes underwater shots of the Mazotos shipwreck, as well as aerial shots of archaeological sites and follows Barba’s artistic approach of examining liminal states which manifest in between contested spaces, both mentally and geographically, in order to offer a new perspective.

Inside the Outset: Evoking a Space of Passage is a project in two parts: a film and a long-term Open-Air cinema installation. It received the first prize at the international competition of the Italian Council (Third Edition) in 2018, and was awarded a grant from DGAAP (Directorate General for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Peripheries), Italy.

The inaugural ceremony of Rosa Barba’s Open-Air Cinema will take place on September 10 with the premiere of her new film Inside the Outset: Evoking a Space of Passage (2021) as part of a programme of films selected by the Advisory Board. 

Rosa Barba, Inside the Outset: Evoking a Space of Passage (2021)
Open-Air Cinema and 16mm film transferred to digital and 8k film, sound, 31:15 minutes.
Produced by Point Centre for Contemporary Art, funded by the Italian Council. 
A collaboration with Famagusta Avenue Garage.

With thanks to the Embassy of Italy, Deryneia Municipality and the Archaeological Research Unit of the University of Cyprus.

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Point Centre for Contemporary Art
September 4, 2021

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