Walls Have Feelings
PYLON is proud to present the online screening of Walls Have Feelings (2019) by Eli Cortiñas, starting Saturday, November 5.
Eli Cortiñas’ practice centers around the idea of challenging cinematic memory through analyzing and re-editing pre-existing footage and merging it with her own film, video and sound recordings. By first collecting, organizing and classifying the sourced material, the artist then reworks and reimagines the found film-, YouTube-, advertising or animation footage in a next step, disrupting and re-structuring narrative flows.
Cortiñas’ video montages, collages and object arrangements suggest new and different meanings to appropriated and edited footage, in order to debunk myths and hegemonic narratives, as the artist of Cuban descent states. This method of ‘editing as writing’ generates a mixed feeling of both identification and alienation. A deep dive into psychological, aesthetic and societal questions, Eli Cortiñas manages to create an ambiguous and affirmative transparency within her work inviting her audience to explore power, memory and politics.
Eli Cortiñas studied at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne and at the European Film College Ebeltoft, Denmark. She hold a shared professorship from 2019-2021 at Braunschweig University of Art, together with artist Candice Breitz and has recently been appointed professor for media art at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig.
Selected solo exhibitions include The Body is The House, The House is But Haunted, Kunstverein Braunschweig (2022), Walls Have Feelings, KINDL – Center for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2021), Free Circulation = Free Copulation at Soy Capitán (2019), Berlin, Always bite the hand that feeds you at Convent Space for Contemporary Art, Ghent (2018), Remixers never die, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius (2018), Awkward Studies and a Decent Take on Serious Matters at Rokeby, London (2013), Love Is Worn Around The Neck, curated by Veit Loers at Kunstraum Innsbruck (2012).
Her work was part of several group exhibitions, such as Landscapes of Labour, KAI10 Arthene Foundation, Düsseldorf, DE (2022), Existing Otherwise – The Future of Coexistence, SCCA (Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art), Tamale, GH (2022), The 6th Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, Dobrolyubova, RU (2021), Thinking like an Octopus, or: Tentacular Grasp, Wilhelm Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen, DE (2021), Fotografie Heute: Resistant Faces, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2020), MASKE. Kunst der Verwandlung, Kunstmuseum Bonn (2019), Büro komplex – Die Kunst der Artothek im politischen Raum, Kunsthaus NRW, Aachen (2018), Film Footage Fotografie. Bildnerische Augenblicke mit filmischen Bezügen, Museum for Photographie Braunschweig (2017), 10 Emerging Artists. Contemporary Experimental Films and Video Art from Germany, Goethe Institute Canada (2017), Double Feature, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2017), Les Rencontres Internationales at Centre Pompidou, Paris (2011). Eli Cortiñas has been awarded with grants and fellowships from Fundación Botín (2018), Berliner Senat (2017), Villa Sträuli (2017), Villa Massimo Rome (2014), Marianna Ingenwerth-Stiftung grant for residency at the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo La Regenta (2013), Shortlist Award for young Film Art, Freunde der Neuen Nationalgalerie und Deutscher Filmakademie (2011), et al.
Eli Cortiñas was born 1979 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. She lives and works in Berlin.
The online screening is part of PYLON-Lab's program COLLATERAL EXTINCTION and funded by Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen. Gefördert durch die Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen. Diese Maßnahme wird mitfinanziert durch Steuermittel auf der Grundlage des vom Sächsischen Landtag beschlossenen Haushaltes.
In Walls Have Feelings, Cortiñas delves into the ecology of objects and their appearance. The video opens onto the microcosm of dictators’ offices, presenting their architecture and interiors. Newly-filmed scenes alternate with close-ups and landscapes views from sourced images and found footage, gradually unveiling the protagonists of the film: office rooms and walls, which contain, hide and reinforce invisible forms of power. Powers, which stemmed from industrial capitalism and political dictatorships, and which in turn influenced the current neoliberal-type of economic production. The film references labour activities, echoing both present and past, corporeal and cognitive, forms of exploitation. It mixes familiar scenes of workers leaving the factory, laboratories producing all-too-human robots, and the works of artists themselves, which all together creates a navigable, hypnotic loop. Cortiñas evokes the object‘s animist power, delving into something that is embedded in them – as the title reminds us. The video becomes an open archive in process, which not only speaks of political powers and their resulting oppression. It also processes the very aesthetic through which these powers operate. ‘The ethnic cleansing of history has become a standard procedure’ (…) ‘silencing the past has become a standard procedure’, states Cortiñas. By displaying lost and invisible events, through reworked images, she digs into visual memory, testing both cultural and cinematic memory itself.
(Giulia Civardi, 2019)
Credits Idea, realisation and montage: Eli Cortiñas
Sound design: Angel Cortiñas Hidalgo
Voice artist: Marcy Mendelson
Commissioned by Kunsthaus NRW Kornelimünster
Funded by die Fundación Botín