Rosa Barba

Sunday, 19 September 2010

white museum beam

stating the real sublime

felt drapes

I seem to be obsessed with light these days. So when a friend emailed me this morning and said he had something to feed this obsession, I was more than willing to follow his link. The Tate Modern is showing an exhibition on the work of Rosa Barba, and I'm particularly enamoured with its description:

Rosa Barba's work encompasses film, sculpture, installation and publications. In this exhibition, Barba's carefully choreographed installation divides viewers' attention between the projected image and projector itself, posing questions as to which is the narrative and which the narrator.

I love this. It's almost like saying to the viewer, "you decide." Anything that directs attention back to the viewer and interrogates his/her role in the production of meaning seems to me to be a closer approximation of what art is all about. Perhaps this sounds romantic, but I don't care.

I would love this concept to be taken further. Maybe somebody has already done this, but I keep envisioning a series of light installations in which the viewers are part of the installations by virtue of them being there and casting their own shadows. It seems like such a simple idea, but could yield such complex responses. And the meaning would be continually changing, unfixed.

It's sort of like an extension of what the viewers of art do with what is placed before them, and what they too leave behind. Have you ever roamed around a theatre after a show and collected any leftover tickets people have left? I have to admit, I have. I like the sentiment of collecting the residue of art, however mundane.

Also, the titles of the above pieces are so thought-provoking. The second one for example is called Stating the Real Sublime, and it immediately brought to mind my own conception of the sublime as all-encompassing and borderless, yet what is presented here is a clearly demarcated box of light. Hmmm.

I'm off to the ballet this coming Thursday to see The West Australian Ballet perform The Sleeping Beauty with Marcia Haydée. You can be sure that I'll be sticking around to collect any leftover programmes and tickets, and creating my own mini-exhibition.

15 comments:

Danica Keeley said...

the first picture is so mysteriously spooky and beautiful. amazing post. i always enjoy reading. :)

odessa said...

ha! i've been obsessed with light these days too. there are even days when i linger outside so i can hoard the last of the summer light.

looking forward to your own mini-exhibition of the sleeping beauty :)

Sara said...

so beautiful... i always love reading your blog and soaking in the images...

Enia Is (Almost) Here said...

beautiful art. as you say, any that makes us re-examine and re-think is good, real good. and of course any exhibitions that can be described as playgrounds of light are my (play) friends for sure...

i love the focus on the mundane (i wouldn't be an ethnographer if i didn't), but i have to admit i haven't stayed behind to collect tickets, though it seems so obvious now that you've mentioned it. next play i see i'll do exactly that and report back.

p.s. thanks for stopping by, as always :)

Linure said...

i've been following this blog for 4 months or so and i have to say I completly love it. i find it so inspiring and i love the fact that you always introduce me to new fabolous artist. this is last post is so beautiful! congratulations

Sundari said...

art is beautiful like that. I am particularly drawn to work that makes me question my presence in relation to the work and what meaning this relationship creates. I am still a long way from creating work that does this to people but am very interested in this idea.

Make it Easy said...

nice!
me and my friends have projector parties sometimes :-)

char said...

so so beautiful, your blog is as lovely as ever :)
oh, and have a lovely time at the ballet, i'm a tad jealous!
thank you for your sweet comment xxx

kirstyb said...

thanks for sharing

Megan Champion said...

I love this idea - light is truly an amazing thing...

tywo said...

Me too. I never took the time to see the beauty in the lights around me. Now, everywhere I go, I find myself saying "I love that light"
You write beautifully.




LOVE!

Indie.Tea said...

Those are beautiful pieces. I look forward to your mini-exhibit (and presume there will be pictures)

fluidimaginings said...

That is a great collection of pictures! Looks really cool.

Ella said...

this is absolutely excellent. sometimes the most simple concepts and ideas are always the best. cosmic wonder has some great fashion installations if you are interested in things of that nature :)

hila said...

danica: I agree, I'm also impressed by the perfect symmetry of the light.

odessa and indie.tea: alas, my own exhibition is hardly impressive enough to compare with this, I think I will keep it to myself :)

sara, linure, char, kirstyb, megan champion and tywo: thank you so much :)

enia: I'm looking forward to your report! We can be ethnographers together.

sundari: I don't think you're as far away from this in your own work as you think. I'm also interested in the relationship between presence and transcendence; two inter-related, but different concepts. I like your photographs because they seem to suggest something of both ...

make it easy: that's such a cool idea, I'll have to give it a try one day.

James: I know, it's so cool. Thanks again for sending me those beautiful pictures!

Ella: oh thanks! I'll check that out, much appreciated :)