"The Hidden Conference" is a three-part series of filmic investigations in museum storages. All three films evoke the discussions one can imagine artworks in the museum storage spaces might have with one another. "The Hidden Conference" continues the investigation of cultural storage areas and archives, started with the curatorial project "A Curated Conference: On the Future of Collective Strength within an Archive" at the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid: the stored art works become protagonists in a filmic narrative that unfolds before a handheld camera; their invisible nexuses and the condition of silent coexistence are enlivened besides scientific or chronological claims by the restless camerawork and the montage of textual fragments, filmic pictures and sound elements. The soundscape is an equal partner in supporting the fictionalization process.

The third and final part “The Hidden Conference: About the Shelf and Mantel” (2015) has been shot at Tate’s storages in London. 

(…) Far from challenging the paradigm of the archive as a failed futuristic vision, this clandestine conference confirms its rhetoric. Pathos surrounds the museum’s erstwhile ambitions to representational totality, leaving moot the possibility of redemptive salvaging of these misplaced shards of a fractured history. (…)” 
(Lynne Cooke, "Suspended Stories: Rosa Barba’s strategic narrativity", in: Rosa Barba – White is an Image, Hatje Cantz, 2011)
The Hidden Conference: About the Shelf and Mantel, 2015

35mm film, color, optical sound, 14 min.

Images 1, 2, 3: Film still © Rosa Barba 
Image 4: Installation view at Secession, Vienna, 2017. Photo: Oliver Ottenschläger © Rosa Barba