Rosa Barba Born in 1972 in Agrigent, Sicily, Italy | Lives and works in Berlin


Rosa Barba

Rosa Barba

At the core ofRosa Barba’swork is the medium of film, which she uses both as an image carrier and as material for sculptural installations. Her works are multi-varied reflections on the medium and its defining properties, in which she uses individual devices of cinematic production and presentation as constitutive elements.

The primary function of the film equipment in her film sculptures is not just to produce pictures but is itself an integral part of the installation. Film projectors are positioned in the room as if in imaginary conversation; motors running at different speeds create different levels of sound and strips of celluloid fed over film spools fill the space. The photo image itself, along with the traces of wear on the surface of the celluloid, or individual text fragments that the viewer involuntarily translates into images of their own are projected. In her work,Stating the real Sublime(2009), Barba has cleverly designed the suspension of a 16mm projector from the ceiling by a threaded film strip so that the projector and the projected image are constantly swinging and seem to be leading a life of their own.

The storylines in the films that Rosa Barba produces develop at the point where documentation meets fiction.The Hidden Conference:about the discontinuous history of things we see and don’t see(2010) shows pictures of a museum’s storage room in which Barba, using a hand-held camera, briefly reveals hidden works, found alliances, and disparate surroundings. Pendulating between the almost magical appearance and disappearance of images, the works become the protagonists in a narrative oscillating between dream and reality.


2003–2004 Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam
1995–2000 Kunsthochschule für Medien, Colonge
1993–1995 Film- und Theaterwissenschaften, Erlangen

Awards (selection)

2010 Nam June Paik Award
2006 HAP-Grieshaber-Preis der VG Bild-Kunst, Kunstfonds, Bonn 

Solo exhibitions (selection)

2012 Kunsthaus ZĂĽrich
2011 Fondazione Galleria Civica, Trento
MART, Museum , Rovereto
2010 TATE Modern, London
Center of Contemporary Arts, Tel Aviv

Group exhibitions (selection)

2012 Unfinished Journeys, Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo, Norway
2011 Les Marques Aveugles, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Genève
2010 Premio Italia, Maxxi Museo nazionale delle darti del XXI secolo, Rome
Touched, Liverpool Biennale
2009 Making Worlds, Palazzo delle Eposizione, 53rd Venice Biennale