Partial Nudity explores human relationships and dreamlike atmospheres through video manipulation, it is exposing an intimate view of the artist’s thoughts and through her eyes we witness selections of videos reworked into something totally her own creation. By this method of appropriation, Eli Cortiñas transforms feature films from the 1950’s to the 80’s into smaller theme based clips that stand alone for different aspects and concepts of reality.
In the first projected video, Fin, two lovers walk hand in hand in heavy coats in a cold, snowcapped landscape. The video is on a loop, extending the 8 seconds of motion into an infinite repeat, and adds a sense of purgatorial movement, the figures traveling forever away without actually receding into the distance. Since the figures remain the same size, we become used to their unusual sporadic progression, and our thoughts alone add the play of perspective to the male and female pair. In the white background remains the red solitary word “Fin”.
On the adjoining wall is an interesting excerpt from a Spanish film. The protagonists are traveling on a deserted country road between two villages. They are walking as a group, towards the viewer, reportedly on a way to a meal and back. They are dressed in their Sunday best, ties and jackets and conservative styles popular in the post mid-century. The characters travel in stark contrast to Fin, forever traveling forwards, but also without reaching their destination. The juxtaposition of the two videos next to each other enhances the feeling of the journey as opposed to arriving at some target objective. The second room of the exhibition displays a widescreen double-montaged projection. The imagery is of curtains in the breeze and curtains on a stage that gives a theatre like performance atmosphere.
The characters are cut so that their faces are always obscured from view. Sometimes the imagery of the left and right are playing simultaneously, and sometimes with a delay. What really makes this video unique is that the disembodied voices speak from the backs of the actors so we are the ones that literally force the words into the character’s mouths.
The final selection of work displayed by Eli Cortiñas is Dial M for Mother; the name is a play on Alfred Hitchcock’s cult movie “Dial M for Murder”.
The video progresses with the added audio by the artist and the story is rewritten into a conversation of mother and daughter and is compounded by the different reactions of the mother to the phone calls.
Eli Cortiñas is a Spanish artist who lives in Berlin. She originally started her studies in the European Film College in Denmark and then finished at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. Besides her video work, she is known for her unusual collages. This is her first Budapest exhibition.
The small exhibition is contained in 3 rooms under the Műcsarnok on Hero’s Square in Budapest and is open until November 17.