Installation view of Rosa Barba at the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo
Rosa Barba uses film as the medium and raw material for her art. With her camera the artist tracks the vestiges of mankind’s actions in landscapes, and tries to understand how they relate to reality – how they are inscribed in the unconscious, and how they are manifest collectively in society. The film Disseminate and Hold (2016) establishes a dialogue with the content and imaginary meanings that pervade the structure known as Minhocão (literally ‘the big worm’), the 3.5-kilometer concrete overpass built in the city of São Paulo in 1970 under the military dictatorship. Barba’s installations and site-specific works combine image, sound and text. The artist creates spaces that represent a mental state of suspension and liminal situations in which there is no separation between politics and poetry. Mechanisms of projection, including the actual cellulose film, are turned into performative sculptures, the actors in her work. The installation White Museum (São Paulo) (2010/2016) is a projection of white light at the entrance ramp of the Bienal Pavilion, whose frame, common in photography and cinema, becomes a physical presence, an open framework that provides a visual experience of the space and interferes with the passersby.