17 May – 27 August 2017
Palacio de Cristal. Parque del Retiro, Madrid
Rosa Barba (Agrigento, Italy, 1972) is a Berlin-based visual artist and film-maker who predominantly bases her work on the use of celluloid and filmic devices, in both materiality and concept. Her pieces imply discontinuities, paradoxes and dialectic turns which are born in between the process of image creation and its metaphors. Mediums such as film, sculpture, installation and the written text come together to engender contradiction, the irony in a conceptual universe that transcends reality. Her films are often micro-stories of reality which grow inside a possible fiction; seemingly marginal happenings take on the value of a historical document, more real than major political and economic events. Omitted from official accounts of History, these everyday, fantastical narratives are normalised to explain the time we live in under the formula of post-modernity.
Since her early work in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Barba has incorporated her artistic practice into the settings and architecture which accommodate her pieces in order to trace new narratives. White Museum (Centre International d’Art & du Paysage, Vassivère, 2010), Free Post Mersey Tunnel (Liverpool Biennial, 2010) and her recent installation at the Schirn Kunsthalle, Blind Volumes (Frankfurt, 2016), have all borne witness to her interest in contextualising certain works. In the spring of 2017, the artist will present a site-specific project inside the Palacio de Cristal in the Retiro Park, engaging in dialogue with the idiosyncrasies of this nineteenth-century space.
Rosa Barba’s work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions in institutions that include the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt (2016), the CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux (2016), the MIT List Visual Arts Center (2015) and MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Castilla y León (2013). She has also participated in different editions of the Venice Biennale – numbers 52 (Slovenian Pavilion, 2007), 53 (Pallazzo delle Esposizione, 2009) and 56 (Giardini, 2015) – and the 32nd São Paulo Biennial (2016). Her films have been screened at numerous film festivals, for instance the 54th New York Film Festival (2016), the FACT screening program, the 24th Liverpool Biennial (2016), Basel Parcours Night: The Hidden Conference, film and sound performance (2015) and the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival (2014), among others.