Pedro Ortuño works largely in film and installation, developing his work within two strands that can broadly be described as investigating parallel or marginalised cinemas, and the phenomenology of projected imagery.
The recent film The Other Side of Bollywood (2007) results from a period of research in India which looked at the development of Bollywood in India, alongside the influences of Hollywood on the one hand and the tradition of 'parallel cinema' on the other. Using various framing devices, the film gives a literal glimpse from the other side of the camera; the projection booth; and the labour divide. Interviews with artists, Bollywood stars, and directors inform this wide-ranging artist documentary that forms part of a longer research that is currently taking in such areas as 'Nollywood' and the popular Arabic cinema of Cairo. During this research Ortuño is keen not to re-marginalise but to produce an analysis of the wider cultural forces that alternately reinforce the cultural hegemonies of globalisation or produce greater demand and curiosity about the local, the amateur, and the experimental.
Reflecting another strand of his practice are the ongoing development of the Precinematic Series (2007). These projects involve various installations of projections and mirrors, forming kaleidoscopic viewing spaces. While Phantasy Landscape (2007) lingers on a literal multiplication of the plain pleasures of looking by using landscape imagery, future projects will experiment with the projection of various cinematic footage.
For his Open Studio at Gasworks Ortuño created a mirrored, kaleidoscopic viewing box for A Permanent Provisional Situation, a work in progress. The work consisted of several interviews with Palestinian filmmakers conducted by the artist and spliced together with found footage from YouTube, creating a mosaic of simultaneously viewed and infinitely multiplied tiles of moving images. As a landscape of many voices, A Permanent Provisional Situation is concerned with notions of access and media receptivity to a deepening reserve of images that remain largely unseen by the general public.
Pedro Ortuño is currently head of Fine Art at the University of Murcia. His residency forms part of PAC Murcia, a project involving a major citywide exhibition of international artists, Estratos. To complement this PAC Murcia has organised a series of residencies for artists from the Murcian region within European institutions.