Awkward Studies and A Decent Take On Serious Matters

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Confessions with an open curtain, 2011 Single Channel Video, 5'30''/ Loop, Colour © Courtesy of the Artist and Rokeby
VCR , 2012 Glass, Ball, Metall 20 X 17 X 20 Cm © Courtesy of the Artist and Rokeby
Confessions with an open curtain , 2011 Single Channel Video, Installation Shot 5'30''/Loop, Colour © Courtesy of the Artist and Rokeby / photograph by Carolina Redondo
Awkward Studies and A Decent Take On Serious Matters

16 Rosebery Avenue
London EC1R 4TD
United Kingdom
May 2nd, 2013 - June 15th, 2013
Opening: May 1st, 2013 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

city, barbican
+44 20 7193 5034
Wed-Fri 12-5 and by appointment


Rokeby is delighted to present Eli Cortiñas’ first solo exhibition in London in which the artist presents brand new video work alongside assemblages and collages.

Throughout her practice Cortiñas uses found material. Her complex video’s are based on existing footage selected for the artist’s interest in films associated with auteur theory, the female roles depicted within them, and her personal fascination with the visual vocabulary of the ’60’s and ’70’s. Cortiñas’ selection of material is also driven by the filmic qualities of work by directors such as Luis Buñuel and François Truffaut; by their dramatic composition and aesthetic qualities, which today feel familiar and are as such subsumed by the viewer.

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.

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) looks at 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 can currently be seen at Sies + Höke in Die gestundete Zeit (Time deferred), curated by Gesine Borcherdt and at Videonale, the festival for contemporary video at the Kunstmuseum Bonn. In the coming months Cortiñas’ is included 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.