Image Project: Rosa Barba, 'Somnium'

Rosa Barba, Somnium, 2011

Rosa Barba produced a science fiction film based on interviews with local residents and individuals involved in the land suppletion project for Maasvlakte 2. Barba asked the interviewees to imagine what this new land could look like in the future. While we see images of the new land, the slufter: a storage reservoir for heavily contaminated sludge from the new Meuse river, the construction of the huge docksides, basalt blocks, empty containers and the mechanical movements of the transshipment process, we listen to a story apparently taking place in the future. The main character is a beekeeper who started with his first hive on the Maasvlakte, 30 years ago, and is now surrounded by silos for oil storage. Combined with archive pictures of the port, the images form a mechanical ballet of man and machine, set against a futuristic landscape.

As in earlier films by Barba, the ‘urban myths’ and personal hypotheses of the interviewees are moulded into a single composition, by a narrator. The result is a monologue in which actual events and imaginary consequences are unraveled. The film is screened in 35mm format.

The film was screened from January 26 through February 6, 2011 as part of XL, the anniversary programme of the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Rosa Barba (Agrigento, Sicily, 1972) lives and works in Berlin. She mainly works with film, installations and printed matter. She had solo exhibitions at the Tate Modern in London, at the Liverpool Biennial, and at the Centre George Pompidou in Paris and the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam. Her work was also part of a number of group exhibitions including ‘Making Worlds’ at the 53rd Venice Biennial