Rosa Barba was born in Italy. The artist currently lives and works in Berlin. She studied at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne followed by a fellowship at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam; 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.
The artist has been awarded various prizes, i.e. the 46th PIAC, International Prize for Contemporary Art, of the Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco in 2015 and the Calder Prize in 2020. Barba has held residencies at the Atelier Calder, France; Baltic Art Center, Visby, Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas; Iaspis, Stockholm; and Artpace, San Antonio, among others.
Rosa Barba engages within the medium of film through a sculptural approach. In her works, Barba 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 for the artist as Barba examines the industry of cinema and its staging vis-à-vis gesture, genre, information and documents. Her film works are situated between experimental documentary and fictional narrative. They often focus on natural landscapes and human-made interventions into the environment and explore the relationship of historical records, personal anecdotes, and filmic representation, creating spaces of memory and uncertainty.
Rosa Barba's work has been exhibited at prestigious institutions and biennials worldwide: Centre de Création contemporaine Olivier Debré, Tours (2022), Cukrarna, Ljubljana (2021, 2022), Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2021-2022); Yokohama Triennial (2020); Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art, Turku, Finland (2020); CCA Kitakyushu (2019); Armory Park Avenue, New York (2019); Kunsthalle Bremen (2018); Remai Modern, Saskatoon (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 the 7th Beaufort Triennial, Belgium (2021); 32nd São Paulo Biennial (2016); 53rd and 56th Biennale di Venezia: Making Worlds (2009, curated by Daniel Birnbaum); 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 (2013); International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia (2014) and Liverpool Biennale (2010).
In 2021, Rosa Barba inaugurated Inside the Outset: Evoking a Space of Passage, 2021, a permanent Open-Air Cinema sculpture in the United Nations Buffer Zone in Deryneia, Cyprus and Pillage of the Sea, a permanent sculpture in the sea in Ostende, during the Beaufort Biennial.
Forthcoming exhibitions include: Tate Modern, 2023, Centre de Création Contemporaine Olivier Debré, Tours (2022); PICA Perth Australia (2023), MALI Museo de Arte de Lima (2023), Museu Calouste Gulbenkian Lisbon (2024).
The artist’s work is held in the following collections: CAPC – Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, Bordeaux; Centre national des arts plastiques, Paris; Collezione MAXXI, Rome; Collezione FRAC Piemonte, Vercelli; Fondazione Giuliani, Rome; Fondazione Prada, Milan; Fundación Tantica, Buenos Aires; FRAC Franche-Comté, Besançon; FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims; Galleria civica d’arte moderna e contemporanea (GAM), Turin; FMAC, Geneva; André Iten Collection, Geneva; Jumex Collection, Mexico City; Kunsthalle Bremen; Kunsthaus Zürich; Lemaître Collection, London; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk; Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris; Mart – Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Rovereto; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona; Museo del Novecento, Milan; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporanéo, Castilla y León; Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin; Nomas Foundation, Rome; Pace Foundation, San Antonio; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Sammlung Hoffmann, Berlin; Sammlung zeitgenössischer Kunst der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Germany; Staatliche Museen Berlin – Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah; Tate Modern, London; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; UniCredit Art Collection, Milan; UniCredit Art Collection, Rovereto; Vehbi Koc Foundation, Istanbul; Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art, Turku; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.