Five Easy Pieces and Some Words of Wisdom, Eli Cortiñas’ second solo exhibition at Soy Capitán, revolves around the video work ‚Quella Che Cammina (The One Who Walks)’, created in Rome in 2014.
Forming the central character of this self-referential and associative montage of images and sound is the figure of an aging Roman prostitute. Although this character is taken from ‘Amore che si paga’, Italian filmmaker Carlo Lizzani’s contribution to the 1953 neorealist episodic film ‘L’amore in città’, Cortiñas draws almost exclusively on material she has filmed herself.
Her studio in Villa Massimo serves as the filming location and has been temporarily transformed here into a stage. On a self-constructed platform in the studio space, specific lighting and visual movement are used to present sculptural designs in various ways. The goal here is to find a solution for how to translate the actual object into a filmic one. In exterior shots, Cortiñas shifts the view from the surrounding environment’s obvious features and focuses instead on what is underrepresented, the hidden flaw.
Speaking restlessly in Italian, French and Spanish, she conducts an inner monolog that revolves around how one perceives the self caught in the dilemma between imposed conventions and the desire to satisfy personal freedoms. This inner monolog, at times a dialogue, takes place between self-created and unfamiliar expectations as well as a social pattern that is likely—as she leads us to surmise—not freely chosen. Cortiñas’ switching between languages is based on the fact that she is responding to the individual protagonists in their respective languages, whose voices she appropriates and reproduces newly dissected. As part of her approach, the voice of her own mother also appears, contextualizing her daughter’s work in an ironic, distanced way.
Cortiñas understands film and video as a spatial experience and therefore situates her filmic work in the context of assemblages and a wall piece created from its own set of themes.