Rosa Barba

At Tate Modern there was an exhibition of works by Rosa Barba.  These mostly involved using 16mm film projectors as the sculptures themselves, rather than the means of showing a film.  I liked the piece below where the two machines whirred away generating heat and light at one another, everyone talking and no-one listening.  There was another installation in which a projector was suspended from the ceiling by multiple loops of the blank celluloid film it was actually projecting, so all the loops were on the move whilst supporting the heavy and expensive projector…quite a risky piece given my experience of film!

Western Round Table 2007

There was a sadness for me about this exhibtion and its use of projectors firing blanks.  I so much prefer film to digital stuff,  it is a totally different artistic medium. Artists did not stop using oil paints after acrylics were invented, they just used the medium appropriate to the painting.  In the blurb accompanying this exhibition concerning Barba’s use of film projectors there were four uses of the word archaic, and the words relic and extinction also featured.  How depressing.


One thought on “Rosa Barba

  1. Hmmm I would agree with your observation about the properties of celluloid & the wisdom of suspending a projector from it! I suspect that they must have used something else, otherwise a wee nick in the film could bring the whole lot down.

    Yes, as much as I use the facilities that the digital age provides, I am so glad I grew up analog!!!!!! One decent solar flare could wreck most chips & delicate electronics….”primitive” projectors will still work!

    Consider also the shelf life of a home burned CD or DVD, some of these will degrade in less than 10 years, a well developed bit of B&W film will last for centuries.

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