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|Eli Cortiñas, Confessions with an open curtain, 2011, single channel video, 5'30''/ Loop, colour|
Rokeby is delighted to present Eli Cortiñas’ first solo exhibition in London in which the artist presents a recent video work alongside assemblages and collages.
Throughout her practice Cortiñas uses found material. Her complex video’s are based on existing footage that the artist selects based on her fascination with the filmic quality of work by directors assosciated with auter theory such as Luis Buñuel and François Truffaut. It is not only the dramatic compositions and aesthetic qualities of these films or the visual vocabulary of the ’60’s and ’70’s but also the female roles depicted within them that draws the artist to select her material.
In past work Cortiñas collages edited audio and visual moments from the selected films, often with out acknowledging traditional or expected filmic devises such as linear narrative or space. Rather, the artist will mirror and double material, split screens or slow elements down to create an abstract space which ultimately foregrounds traditional filmic formula’s and the representation and construction of the female characters. Furthermore through her clever editing techniques the artist exposes classic cinematic narratives and the temporal construction of film by eluding them.
Similarly the artist achieves complex psychological space within her films, constantly asking for the viewers active engagement. An example being Cortiñas’ two channel video from 2008 Dial M for Mother in which, with technical prowess, Cortiñas combines excerpts from three films in which Gena Rowlands is the lead, “A Woman Under the Influence” (1974), “Opening Night” (1979) and “Gloria” (1980), with telephone conversations with her own mother recorded over a period of four years. The complex interplay between real and imagined and on and off screen, culminates when the artists own mother becomes the protagonist’s fictive mother on screen; ultimately the struggle for identity and autonomy is played out.
In a more recent work, Confessions with an Open Curtain is based on found footage of blonde female characters with their backs to the viewer; the curtain becomes the central figure, the women at once annonoymous and exemplified. As the viewer we gaze out of windows over the female charachters shoulders but any Romanticism associated with such acts are put to an end with the female quotes lifted from the source material: It's the best thing a girl can be in this world - A beautiful little fool.
Cortiñas works with other material that is in the world, which, like her films is collaged together to offer new formal, conceptual and personal readings. Again the viewer is asked to question how s(he) views and reads the material, how they bring meaning to the new configuration or reconsider the context that the picture, object or moving image was originally a part of.
Eli Cortiñas was born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and currently lives and works in Berlin. Having studied at the European Film College in Denmark the artist attended the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. Her work was most recently included in Videonale 14, the festival for contemporary video at the Kunstmuseum Bonn. And in a group exhibition Die gestundete Zeit (Time deferred), curated by Gesine Borcherdt at Sies + Höke. Andcan currently be seen in Madonna to Madonna at Domus Artium (DA2), Salamanca, Spain, Images Festival, Toronto, Canada and at Soy Capitán, Berlin. Towards the end of 2013 Dial M for Mother will be presented at Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwighafen, Germany. In 2012 the artist participated in the 2nd Mardin Biennial, Turkey and the 3rd International Moscow Biennial. Her work has been included in exhibitions at Centre Pompidou, Paris, The Guggenheim Gallery, L.A, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Kunstraum Innsbruck, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt am Main and the Museum for Contemporary Art Münster amongst others.