Subject to Constant Change is a major solo exhibition from celebrated Italian-German artist Rosa Barba. Barba’s installations explore the material properties of film as well as probing the structure of cinematic narratives and its relationship to memory. This exhibition is a unique collaboration between Cornerhouse and Turner Contemporary, Margate. Each venue will present a distinct part of newly commissioned film work Subconscious Society, which will be shown in different formats in the two venues.
Shot on location in Kent and Manchester, Subconscious Society takes the end of the industrial age as its subject. Using the grandiose interior of Manchester’s hitherto abandoned Albert Hall as main stage, the artist assembled a group of local residents, some with memories of the building, and filmed them inside. Barba’s protagonists reflect on, and attempt to archive, different objects from the past: these are relics of the age of mechanical reproduction and analogue technology, now receded into near obsolescence and becoming increasingly mysterious in the digital present.
Exterior scenes filmed in Kent show a post-industrial Thames Estuary with desolate structures rendered increasingly strange, such as abandoned boats and a collapsing pier and Margate’s now defunct Dreamland amusement park.
Opening image: Rosa Barba, film still / Subconscious Society, 2013