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MÁS SITUACIONES I: LILIANA PORTER / CURATORIAL STUDIES AND THE ISLAA

ARTIST INITIATIVE 

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CURATED BY LAURA COLKITT

October 12 - October 28, 2022

Screen Shot 2022-12-07 at 12.13.56 PM
Screen Shot 2022-12-07 at 12.13.56 PM

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Screen Shot 2022-12-07 at 12.13.56 PM
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MÁS SITUACIONES I: LILIANA PORTER 

Más Situaciones I presents the digital video Actualidades / Breaking News (2016) by internationally known artist Liliana Porter (b. 1941, Argentina). Divided into thirty consecutive segments or vignettes, the film’s scenes are arranged like a newspaper with intertitles that announce the theme of the vignette to follow: “local time,” “tourism,” “domestic violence,” “world news.” Key here is that the film’s main protagonists stem from the artist’s extensive collection of bric-a-bracs, knickknacks, and souvenirs. In the course of the thirty segments, viewers see everything from a mass-produced Elvis bust and rotary telephone to miniatures of political figures and a multicolor teddy bear.

 

Porter constructs the majority of her scenes on a white background, thus lending increased attention to the figures, while her use of close ups, medium shots, and non-linear sequences focus the viewer’s attention on the figurines, objects, and their curious combinations in some segments. The kitschy quality of the objects comes together with the “news” in various ways. Some vignettes capture mundane everyday situations and present images of pop cultural icons like Elvis, while others linger on printed images of war and stage scenes that evoke aggression, as when miniature figurines are placed and sequenced to raise the issue of violence against women.  

 

Sylvia Meyers’ music complements the film’s segments, leading the viewer through its moments of compassion, empathy, humor, and shock. Listeners might recognize some elements of the soundtrack, including the Italian protest song “Ciao Bella” and Marlene Dietrich’s “Lili Marleen.” Coupled with Porter’s seemingly simple scenes, the music amplifies each vignette’s impact,capturing an array of human experiences condensed in Porter’s fictional worlds. The pseudo narratives, unconventional protagonists, artfully composed music, and segment style format coexist as the key foundations of this compelling film. 

Laura Colkitt, doctoral candidate in Art History

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