Over many years, Rosa Barba has perfected her delicate research on an “expanded” form of cinema in which film, the celluloid strips, and the 16 or 35mm projector are used as material, light, surface, and sound. In Enigmatic Whistler (2009), the artist deconstructs the projection protocol, hanging the projector by the film it is meant to show, thereby converting the projector and the film into a work of sculpture. In her films, Barba explores her attraction to unique environments—such as the Mojave Desert in California in They Shine (2007) and Mount Vesuvius in The Empirical Effect (2010)—but also to isolated and implausible situations from which she extracts all utopic potential.
In her film The Long Road (2010), the main subject is an automotive racetrack she has filmed from a plane flying overhead. That image is like a drawing done to the scale of the landscape itself. The aerial shots justify the fluttering effect, putting the viewer in a state of suspended daydreaming. As a witness to the resurgence of Land Art, Barba builds this very intimate relationship in a constant dialogue. Every project stands on the brink between documentary and fiction, juggling poetry and insecurity in both the narration and the setting.
For the Biennale di Venezia, Barba presents a new film installation extending her exploration of the notion of territory, its occupants, and the cultural and social connections that create the imaginary and the memory and that, in turn, prompt the viewer’s emotional response.