Sunday, April 28, 2019 from 4-6pm
Laida Lertxundi: Landscape Plus

155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn

Join us for the launch of Landscape Plus, a new monograph published by fluent and Mousse on the work of Laida Lertxundi, featuring essays by Lertxundi, Alejandro Alonso Díaz, Erika Balsom, and Anna Manubens. We'll be hanging out at the space from 4-6pm, and screening Lertxundi's recent film Words, Planets at 5pm. Come have a beer and say hello.

“Laida Lertxundi’s 16mm films revel in the kind of emphatic localism that perhaps only an outsider can capture. The Bilbao-born artist has lived in Los Angeles for a decade, filling her films with images of the sun-bleached concrete, citrus trees, cacti, and airy interiors of Southern California. But frequently, as in Cry When It Happens (2010), this specificity is offset by periodic departures into the uncertainty of the sky. Lertxundi returns again and again to visions of drifting clouds, that profoundly cinematic motif that interrupts solidity and permanence in favor of capricious transformation. Whereas the landscape offers regional detail and tangible ground, a frame within which to place experience, the sky is a dreamy anywhere that abstracts and loosens, that resists circumscription. In this charged play of earth and air, one finds an oblique hint of Lertxundi’s larger concerns: her films are poised between the rigour of control and the fancies of imaginative suggestion, between the stability of structure and the mutability of affect.

Lertxundi’s films leave one shaken by a delicate power of form and feeling that is all the more forceful given their brevity, always under 15 minutes. Yet they are recalcitrant, too, yielding little in the way of easily articulated meaning. To call them cryptic would be to wrongly presume that there is a buried secret to be revealed through decoding; it would be better to say that they insist on a poetics founded in the dense opacity of repeated motifs and in tiny moments that court narrative without ever creating it.”

- Erika Balsom

Words, Planets, Laida Lertxundi, 2018, 16mm, 11 mins

This film applies the six principles for composition delineated in “Opinions on Painting by the Monk of the Green Pumpkin,” written by the seventeenth-century Chinese painter Shi Tao, as referenced in Raúl Ruíz’s essay “For a Shamanic Cinema” (for example, “draw attention to a scene emerging from a static background” or “add scattered dynamism to immobility”). The film is composed of scenes with non-actors, and texts by R.D. Laing and Lucy Lippard.

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