Elements of Conduct – at Malmö Konsthall
Rosa 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.
Elements of Conduct
18 February – 14 May 2017
S:t Johannesgatan 7
Courtesy of the artist; Mälmo Konsthall; Meyer Riegger, Berlin / Karlsruhe; Parra & Romero, Madrid / Ibiza; Vistamare, Pescara; and GioMARCONI, Milan
Photography: Helene Toresdotter
COLLECT WORK BY ROSA BARBA
Subconscious Society (still), 2012
( 60 x 30 cm, Edition of 3 copies – signed and numbered by the artist)