In this work created specifically for the Schirn, in which she responds to the openly accessible public setting of the rotunda, Barba combines the artistic media of film and sculpture. Inside the rotunda, she has erected an expansive, geometrically intricate steel construction consisting of some 80 serial framework elements. The work is twelve meters tall and nearly fills the entire lobby of the Schirn. The complex structure, which resembles a building skeleton and calls to mind the Constructivist visions of the early twentieth century, confronts visitors with a wealth of possible associations.
Rosa Barba uses the installation as the stage for a dynamic choreography combining visual imagery, light, and sound. The artist also cites a selection of her own works,which are presented here in a new constellation. In addition to the film-based sculpture entitled “One Way Out” (2009) and “Conductor” (2014), a rhythmically pulsating sound object, the Schirn is also showing two new works by Rosa Barba in conjunction with the Blind Volumes exhibition: In “White Museum – Live” (2016), 70-mm and 16-mm film projectors appear as actors in an acoustically controlled light show. This work originated in a live performance of the same title presented by Barba in collaboration with the well-known US drummer Chad Taylor at MoMA PS1 in New York last spring. It represents a continuation of the “White Museum” series she first introduced in 2010, in which a rectangular film image is projected as a rectangular field of light into outdoor space from international museum buildings. “Above the Plate and Receiver” (2016), a 16-mm film also featured in the exhibition, is a poetic reflection on space and time, the autonomy of technology, and the limits of human knowledge accompanied by electronic music. It is an outgrowth of Barba’s most recent installation in the “White Museum” series, a work she realized at the Hirsch Observatory of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The various film and sculptural works will be presented continuously in the Schirn rotunda in an arrangement conceived by the artist.