The Long Road (2010) was filmed in the Mojave desert and pursues Rosa Barba's previous investigations of the undercurrents of textual and visual narratives; here, as it specifically relates to deserted areas of the North American countryside, the wastelands of civilisation. Historical traces of the recent past, markers of past actions, open up the discordances of naturalized environments. The Long Road delineates its hidden tracks in the constant ambiguities of the landscape's functional and aesthetic qualities, in constructing a narration of discordance: involuntarily fragments of late modern art histories come to the fore, not appearing as monumental historical sites but as remnants of an ever-present and real past. The Long Road scrutinizes a huge provisional racetrack, which was in working use for only for a few weeks before it was abandoned forever. The film is shot on 35mm from an aerial view. The camera slowly circles the racetrack, guiding our gaze, and turning the track into a monumental earthwork. The rupture between past and future is accompanied by a double-stranded soundtrack with music by Jan St. Werner and a spoken text by Robert Creeley.
The Long Road, 2010
35mm film, color, optical sound, 6:14 min
Images 1, 2, 3: Film still © Rosa Barba Image 4:Installation view at Tate Modern, 2010 © Rosa Barba