Walls Have Feelings
PYLON is pleased to present Walls Have Feelings (2019) by Eli Cortiñas at HYBRID-Box. The exhibition opens on Friday, May 12, 2023.
Eli Cortiñas is a video artist of Cuban descent, born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Her artistic practice can be located within the appropriation tradition, using already existing audiovisual material to de- and identities as well as hegemonic narratives. Her collage-like video essays, installations, collages and wallpapers mix found imagery with documentary strategies.
She was a guest professor at the Art Academy Kassel and the Art Academy Mainz and shared a professorship for Spatial Concepts with Candice Breitz at the University of Art Braunschweig from 2019 till 2022. Cortiñas has recently been appointed professor for Media Art at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig. She has received numerous grants and residencies, including Fundación Botín, Kunstfonds, Villa Massimo, Berlin Senate, Villa Sträuli, Goethe Institute, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Rupert and Karl-Schmidt-Rottluff among others.
Cortiñas’ work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions at institutions such as Museum Ludwig, Kunsthalle Budapest, CAC Vilnius, SCHIRN Kunsthalle, SAVVY Contemporary, Kunstverein Braunschweig, Museum Marta Herford, Kunstraum Innsbruck, Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Centre Georges Pompidou, Museum of Modern Art Moscow, Kunstmuseum Bonn and MUSAC et al., as well as in international Biennials and festivals such as Ural Industrial Biennial, Riga Biennale, Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Mardin Biennale, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, International Curtas Vila Do Conde and Nashville Film Festival.
Cortiñas lives and works in Berlin.
The exhibition is presented by PYLON is kindly supported by Landeshauptstadt Dresden - Amt für Kultur und Denkmalschutz and 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.
‚Walls Have Feelings‘ (2019) deals with the ecology of objects and their appearance. As the title implies, Cortiñas evokes the animistic power of the object and explores something embedded in it. The video opens up to the microcosm of dictators' offices, showing their architecture and interiors. Newly shot scenes alternate with close-ups and landscape views from image sources and found footage, gradually revealing the film's protagonists: offices and walls that contain, conceal, and amplify invisible forms of power. Powers that stem from industrial capitalism and political dictatorships, which in turn have influenced the current neoliberal mode of economic production. The film references labour activities that reflect both present and past, physical and cognitive forms of exploitation. Historic scenes of workers leaving the factory, laboratories producing all-too-human robots, and the works of the artists themselves, all of which combine to create a navigable, hypnotic loop.
The video becomes an open archive in process that speaks not only of political powers and the oppression that results. It also processes the aesthetics with which these powers operate. „(...) silencing the past has become a standard procedure.“ Cortiñas explains. By showing lost and invisible events through reworked images, she digs into visual memory and tests both cultural and cinematic memory itself.