Rosa Barba – Art Club #36

14 September – 27 October 2022
Curator : Pier Paolo Pancotto

→ The work Color Clocks: Verticals Lean Occasionally Consistently Away from Viewpoints remains on view during the month of November as part of Villa Medici guided tours.

Since its creation in 2016, the Art Club exhibition series has brought together works by contemporary international artists and the centuries-old heritage of the French Academy in Rome. Taking the form of visual and sculptural interventions scattered throughout the Villa Medici’s walking areas (loggias, gardens, lounges), the Art Club series reinvents the experience of visiting a place where eras intermingle and where unexpected connections arise. For the series’ next exhibition in September, Villa Medici will welcome the Italian visual artist and filmmaker, Rosa Barba. Her work, a crossroads between cinema and contemporary art, will be exhibited in parallel with the Villa Medici Film Festival, taking place from 14 to 18 September 2022.

Rosa Barba presents three works spanning over 10 years of her practice that range from film, kinetic sculptures and film sculpture.

With Disseminate and Hold (2016), Barba investigates human-made geographies and landscapes, and how these are often deeply enmeshed with political agendas and utopian visions. The film work introduces the everyday disorder of the Minhocão (or “Big Worm”), the elevated highway that runs through the heart of São Paulo and reflects on the traces that history leaves on the landscape and urban environment.

Color Clocks: Verticals Lean Occasionally Consistently Away from Viewpoints (2012) consists of three objects arranged in the space whose designs are reminiscent of the operation of a clock’s gear mechanism. Each with its own specific rhythm they produce a kinetic image. As a re-collection of timekeeping and the experience of time itself, Color Clocks plays with different modes of perception: a meditation on color, time, perception and language, repeated to infinity.

In Weavers (2021), 16mm film loops through and around 35mm film warp, creating a patterned double-sided canvas. The title refers to the collaborative work of the makers of this monumental piece. The irregular weaves accentuated by a low-angled spotlight create fleeting sequences. At times reflective or see-through, Weavers is at once a cinematographic image and a rotating suspended screen.

The exhibition is supported by Vistamare, Milano/Pescara.


Rosa Barba is an artist and filmmaker who balances conceptualism with a distinctly personal vision in her work. She merges films, sculptures, installations, live-performances, text pieces, and publications that are grounded in the material and conceptual qualities of cinema. She also creates installations and site-specific interventions to analyse the ways film articulates space, placing the work and the viewer in a new relationship.

Her work has been exhibited internationally at prestigious institutions and biennials worldwide including Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2021/2022), Cukrarna, Ljubljana (2022), Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid (2017), the 56th, 53rd, 52nd Biennale di Venezia, Italy and the 7th Beaufort Triennial, Belgium. In 2020, Rosa Barba was awarded the Calder Prize by The Calder Foundation. Her work is part of numerous public and private collections and has been widely published, most recently, in the monographic books Rosa Barba: On the Anarchic Organization of Cinematic Spaces – Evoking Spaces beyond Cinema (2021).


Pier Paolo Pancotto has been the curator of the Art Club exhibition programme at Villa Medici since 2016. Previously, he curated the Fortezzuola series of exhibitions at the Museo Pietro Canonica in Rome in 2016-2018

He organised exhibition projects at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in London, Galleria nazionale d’arte in Tirana, Lateral Art Space in Cluj, Galleria nazionale d’arte moderna in Rome, Museo H. C. Andersen, Rome, Museo Carlo Bilotti, Rome, Nomas Foundation, Rome, Casa Scatturin, Venice and La Fondazione, Rome. His works include: Artiste a Roma nella prima metà del ‘900 (2006); Arte contemporanea: dal minimalismo alle ultime tendenze (2010); Arte contemporanea. Il nuovo millennio (2013).

Launched in 2016 under the curatorship of Pier Paolo Pancotto, the Art Club series presents the work of international contemporary artists at Villa Medici in a spirit of openness to the most varied forms of creation. Among the artists recently exhibited: Giuseppe Penone, Katinka Bock, Mircea Cantor, Namsal Siedlecki, Achraf Touloub, Arcangelo Sassolino, Julius von Bismarck, Marinella Senatore, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Cyprien Gaillard…

Download the press release

Photo credits:
Cover picture: © Daniele Molajoli
Portrait of Rosa Barba: © Saskia Uppenkamp
Portrait of Pier Paolo Pancotto: © Daniele Molajoli
Pictures of the works: © Daniele Molajoli