Rosa Barba 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. 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 CCA Kitakyushu, Kitakyushu (2019); Kunsthalle Bremen, 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, Vienna (2017); Malmö Konsthall, Malmö (2017); CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux (2016-2017); Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt (2016); Albertinum, Dresden (2015) and at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA (2015). Most recently Barba participated in 32nd Sao 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 professership in Fine Arts at the University of the Arts, Bremen.
Her work is part of numerous public and private collections and has been widely published, most recently, in the monographic books Rosa Barba: From Source to Poem (2017; published by Hatje Cantz) and Rosa Barba: The Color Out of Space (2016; published by MIT List Visual Arts Center/Dancing Foxes). Rosa Barba was awarded various prizes, amongst others the International Prize for Contemporary Art (PIAC) by the Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco (2016).