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In Focus: Alexandra Cuesta 2

Despedida (Farewell)

Alexandra Cuesta | 2013 | Ecuador, USA | 10’ | 16mm | English

“Shot in Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles, this transitory neighbourhood resonates with the poetry of local resident Mapkaulu Roger Nduku. Verses about endings, looking, and passing through, open up the space projected. A string of tableaus gather a portrait of place and compose a goodbye letter to an ephemeral home.” (Alexandra Cuesta)


Antonio Valencia

Daniela Delgado Viteri | 2021 | Ecuador | 6’ | digital | sound (Spanish text, English subtitles)

An imaginary dialogue with a football player (Ecuadorian Antonio Valencia, a former defender with Manchester United) unfolds as written text over slightly underexposed footage of men playing football and bathing in a beach in San Jacinto, Ecuador.


Hand-Held Day

Gary Beydler | 1975 | USA | 6’ | 16mm | silent

“Over the course of two Kodachrome camera rolls, we simultaneously witness eastward and westward views of the surrounding landscape as the skies, shadows, colours, and light change dramatically. Beydler’s hand, holding the mirror carefully in front of the camera, quivers and vibrates, suggesting the relatively miniscule scale of humanity in the face of a monumental landscape and its dramatic transformations. Yet the use of the mirror also projects an idealized human desire to frame and understand what we see around us, without destroying or changing any of its inherent fascination and beauty.” (Mark Toscano)


Notes, Imprints (on Love): Parts I & II, Carmela

Alexandra Cuesta | 2020 | Ecuador, USA | 25’ | digital | sound (English & Spanish text)

Two opening instalments of a six-part series that meditates on love and the act of making, Notes, Imprints (on Love) is crafted from autobiographical footage shot in Upstate New York, Chile, Japan, Los Angeles, the Californian desert, Miami and Mexico City. “I wanted to approach filmmaking as a ritual of the everyday, using 16mm film to record objects, spaces, light; without hierarchy and without thinking of an end product. I had wanted to capture all the things. Everything and nothing at the same time: the sun falling on my kitchen plant, dilapidating factories in this American city, my husband’s back as he sleeps, the snow on the deck. What began as a spontaneous collection of images, in time became a documentation of my private realm, and this practice of daily filming continued for three years (2015-18), in various cities.” (Alexandra Cuesta)


Cielo Abierto / Mar Abierto / Suelo Abierto

Libertad Gills, Martín Baus | 2021 | Ecuador | 4’ | digital | sound

From a point of view/listening that is both animal and elemental, between the air, the ocean and the sand, relationships emerge between humans, birds and marine life.



Alexandra Cuesta | 2022 | Ecuador, Mexico | 10’ | digital | sound

The lungta (Tibetan for “wind horse”) is a symbol for the human soul in shamanistic traditions in Central and East Asia. Alexandra Cuesta repurposes a few seconds of footage of a horse in a field that she had shot years before but never used in this analogue composition of image and sound that emphasizes its own materiality. A tribute to another Structural/Materialist film with a horse protagonist, the 1970 Berlin Horse by British filmmaker Malcolm Le Grice, it also evokes Muybridge’s early studies of horses in motion that foreshadowed the invention of film. “Illusion of movement. Apparition. Vanishing.” Made at the invitation of FICUNAM, in collaboration with sound artist Martín Baus.

In the presence of Alexandra Cuesta and followed by a Q&A