Liberties (2020) is a sculptural elaboration of fragmented texts based on Susan Howe’s collection The Europe of Trusts, containing three of her books first published in the early 1980s: The Liberties, Pythagorean Silence, and Defenestration of Prague. As one of the most celebrated experimental poets of her generation, Howe (b. 1937) engages with historical, theoretical, and mythical references while expanding traditional notions of genre and disciplines.
By abstracting Howe’s text Liberties to its smallest unit, the letter, Rosa Barba assembles a new archive of fragmented narrations, rhythms and semantic layers. As in previous works such as Language Infinity Sphere (2019), Optic Ocean (2011), and Time Machine (2007), dealing with the examination of language and its forms, Liberties builds a continuum of questions regarding simultaneity and anachronistic time perception. Cast in wax, the letters become three-dimensional objects—in their seemingly fragile materiality, the framed wax pieces mirror the artist’s search for meanings and traces of ever-changing and infinite versions of narration bursting out of common dictions of rhythms.