They Shine

Rosa Barba

18 Nov 2007
6 Jan 2008

Rosa Barba presents three new film installations specially for Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, which she made as a result of her stay in the Mojave Desert in the United States.


The three new film works occupy the middle ground between a purely cinematographic idiom and documentary. The scene of the action is the Mojave Desert in western America. Around the Second World War this vast area became a testing site, primarily for military purposes. Weapons of all kind – atomic bombs, rockets, aeroplanes and vehicles competing for land speed records – were frequently present in this desert.

Ultimately, ‘They Shine’ can be read as a metaphor for the modernist era. Modernism still plays an important role, but the technological crux of it has become a misunderstood archaeological relic. And that must be seen against the backdrop of the United States today, where both religious and technological fundamentalism flourishes as never before.