The Satellite project intervenes in the interstitial spaces of the Jeu de Paume
, meaning that it appropriates existing areas in the museum that were not created for exhibition proposes. Since it is not a simple sealed white cube, artists need to think not only about the specific work they would like to do but also, and very importantly, to consider the challenges presented by the space itself.
This was for Rosa Barba the onset of the concept of her exhibition for Satellite. If the available spaces were unconventional, then the exhibition itself should be unconventional, challenging it as well as the conventions of presenting artworks. Starting in the hall and stretching out to the auditorium, Barba transformed the whole area into one continuous work in which, as the spectator passes through, several episodes unfold through filmic and sculptural installations.
The title of the exhibition back stage exposure alludes to this play with the exhibition space and the exhibition itself, suggesting that what the spectator sees is something that is behind the scenes, a secret place. The whole trail throughout the exhibition entails a movement away from the main galleries and a descent into the lower spaces of the museum. A descent that becomes a metaphor to an entrance into another reality. The experience that Barba wishes for the spectators is that they encounter multiple meanings both in the works and within the installation, which can be seen from different perspectives. The path through the various works also points towards the construction of a narrative, a fiction, which on the one hand dismantles the filmic narration into its several elements such as text, sound and image; and on the other, builds up a series of characters which echo each other at different moments of the exhibition. There is no specific theme underlying the narrative, but a vision that unfolds through different angles (almost in an evocation of the cubist perspective of the world).
This continuous becoming of one medium into another, of the metamorphosis of exhibition rooms themselves, the overflow and juxtaposition between spaces is particularly heightened at the cinema, which transformed into a theatrical synchronized object.
Text is a central element of the exhibition, particularly word-image relationships, which are played with through oblique experiments. The words and letters are projected or exist as objects and they appear at the creation, or disruption, on the surface of the walls, which becomes simultaneously a message board and a sensual experience of word.
The work of Rosa Barba lies on a decision to radically experiment the medium of film. What happens to it if one removes the light, or the image? What if one was to leave only text, for example? The work implies a level of abstraction, a move away from the real, in which imagination plays a decisive role and concurrently entails a transference or a translation from one reality into another; the creation of a new language, of a new possibility for words and images.
Rosa Barba has had solo shows at Musac, Spain; Tate Modern, London; Foundation Galleria Civica-Center of Research on Contemporary Art, Trento and MART, Rovereto, Italy; Kunstverein Braunschweig, Braunschweig; Villa Romana, Florence, amongst others. She has participated in group shows in the Maxxi Museum, Rome; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Swiss Institute, New York; Liverpool Biennale; Venice Biennale; Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art; Biennial of Moving Images, Geneva, to name only a few.