Familiar images are stripped down to a confession; a girl’s relationship with her mother unfolds amidst unsettling phone rings. The characters in Eli Cortiñas video works – currently on view at Mélycsarnok – walk towards infinity on high-heeled feet, or disappear slowly, hand in hand, into the winter horizon.
In her first Budapest exhibition, Cortiñas, a Berlin-based artist of Spanish origin, presents video works that are, in effect, quotations, as they consists exclusively of found footage that has been appropriated and recycled.
In recent decades, the concept of found footage, just as appropriation art, has developed into a trend of its own in film and visual art. In this spirit, Cortiñas’s image sequences that originate from the works of such iconic film directors as François Truffaut, Luis Buñuel and John Cassavetes – and thus these ‘60s and ‘70s feature films – are given new meaning through the dissection process and the subsequent re-composition and re-contextualization.
Cortiñas doesn’t appear to be interested in the relationship of film or cinema to reality, nor does she seek the innovation of visual representation. Instead, by deconstructing the narrative of the image sequences that function as quotations – through strict formal analysis – she recreates the visual composition as a dreamlike atmosphere. The techniques of slow motion and sound re-editing, as used by the artist, accentuate the painterly archetype and tableau vivant character of individual image compositions. The artist’s works – her unique, often repetitive usage of image and sound – outline gender and social roles/relations, as well as social stereotypes. Thus, in helping viewers re-experience familiar patterns, she creates artwork that has the capacity to snatch them out of reality.
Cortiñas, in addition to her work with moving images, also creates installations, objects and paper collages, which, similarly to her video work, are also autobiographically inspired, often carrying an almost intimate tone.
Cortiñas began her studies at the European Film College in Denmark and then continued her education at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM). Her works have been featured in solo and collective exhibitions worldwide, and her films have been shown at such venues as the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Guggenheim Gallery in Los Angeles, among others.