Rosa Barba


Rosa Barba (lives in Berlin) is an artist and filmmaker who balances conceptualism with a distinctly personal vision in her work. She merges films, sculptures, installations, live-performances, text pieces, and publications that are grounded in the material and conceptual qualities of cinema. She also creates installations and site-specific interventions to analyze the ways film articulates space, placing the work and the viewer in a new relationship. Questions of composition, physicality of form and plasticity play an important role in the perception of her work. She interrogates the industry of cinema with respect to various forms of staging by inviting the viewers to participate in her cultural observations. This happens through shifting of gesture, genre, information and documents, that she takes often out of the context in which they are normally seen and reshapes and represents them anew. Her film works 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, creating spaces of memory and uncertainty, more legible as reassuring myth than the unstable reality they represent.

Her work has been exhibited at prestigious institutions and biennials worldwide. She has had solo exhibitions at Neue National Galerie, Berlin (upcoming); Tate Modern, London (upcoming); Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art, Turku, Finland (2020), CCA Kitakyushu (2019); Armory Park Avenue, New York (2019) Kunsthalle Bremen (2018); Remai Modern, Saskatoon (2018); Tabakalera, International Centre for Contemporary Culture, San Sebastián (2018); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Palacio de Cristal, Madrid (2017); Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan (2017); Vienna Secession (2017); Malmö Konsthall (2017); CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux (2016); Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2016); Albertinum, Dresden (2015) and at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA (2015). Barba participated in 32nd São Paulo Biennial; 53rd and 56th Biennale di Venezia: Making Worlds (2009; curated by Daniel Birnbaum) and All the World’s Futures (2015; curated by Okwui Enwezor); 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (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). Barba has had residencies at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam; the Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas; Iaspis, Stockholm; and Artpace, San Antonio, among others.

She studied at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne and has completed her PhD with the title “On the Anarchic Organisation of Cinematic Spaces: Evoking Spaces beyond Cinema” at the Malmö Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts, Lund University in 2018. She has been a visiting professor at MIT, ACT (Program in Art, Culture and Technology), in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Barba holds a professorship in Fine Arts at the University of the Arts, Bremen.

Her work is part of numerous international collections and has been widely published, amongst others in the monographic books Rosa Barba: On the Anarchic Organization of Cinematic Spaces – Evoking Spaces beyond Cinema (upcoming), Rosa Barba: From Source to Poem (2017), Rosa Barba: Time as Perspective (2013), and Rosa Barba: White Is an Image (2011), published by Hatje Cantz; Rosa Barba: In Conversation With (2011; Mousse Publishing) and Rosa Barba: The Color Out of Space (2016), published by MIT List Visual Arts Center/Dancing Foxes. Barba has had residencies at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam; the Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas; Iaspis, Stockholm; and Artpace, San Antonio, among others. She was awarded various prizes, i.e. the 46th PIAC, International Prize for Contemporary Art, of the Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco both in 2015 and the Calder Prize in 2020.

Participating in