Questions of composition, physicality of form and plasticity continue to play an important role in the perception of Rosa Barba’s work. Her interest on how film articulates space places the work and the viewer in a new relationship. It is written through the subject matter of her films, each a topographic study of modernity’s unconscious: remote deserts inscribed with geometric secrets; electronic soundscapes where rhythms, pulses and drones coalesce and dissipate; where images are interlaced with screens of text and the spoken words of artists, poets, geographers. These are spaces of memory and uncertainty, more legible as reassuring myth than the unstable reality they represent.
Her longer filmworks are situated between experimental documentary and fictional narrative, and are indeterminately situated in time. They often focus on natural landscapes and man-made interventions into the environment and probe into the relationship of historical record, personal anecdote, and filmic representation.
She interrogates the industry of cinema with respect to various forms of staging, such as gesture, genre, information and documents, taking them out of the context in which they are normally seen and reshaping and representing them anew.
During the last few years, Barba has had solo exhibitions at the Albertinum in Dresden, Germany (2015); MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge MA, USA (2015); CAC (Contemporary Art Center), Vilnius, Lithuania (2014); MAXXI (Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI secolo), Rome (2014); Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK (2013); Bergen Kunsthall,Norway (2013); Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK (2013); MUSAC (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León), León, Spain (2013), Jeu de Paume, Paris (2012); Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland (2012); Marfa Book Company, Marfa, Texas (2012); and the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Missouri (2012) and Tate Modern, London (2010).
She has participated in many group exhibitions, including, Centre Pompidou, Metz, France, MASS MoCA, North Adams, (2014–2015); Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2014); Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz, Switzerland (2014); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark (2012); WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels (2013); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2010); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2008); 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, Museum Dahlem (2014); International Triennial of New Media Art, Beijing, China (2014); 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014); Performa, New York City, 2013, International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia (2014); Liverpool Biennale (2010); 53rd and 56th Biennale di Venezia (2009, 2015).
Barba’s work is represented in numerous international museum collections, and her films have been shown in festivals worldwide.
In 2015 Rosa Barba was awarded the 46th PIAC, International Prize for Contemporary Art, Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco, and the NEW:VISION Award, CPH:DOX, Copenhagen.
Her work has been widely published, in the monographic books Rosa Barba: White Is an Image (2011), Rosa Barba: Time as Perspective (2013), both Hatje Cantz publishing and Rosa Barba: In Conversation With (2011), Mousse Publishing and Rosa Barba: The Color Out of Space (2016), Dancing Foxes publishing, among others.