Blending conceptual rigor with sensuous pleasure, the films of Los Angeles-based artist Laida Lertxundi are seductive and self-reflexive explorations of place. She presents a suite of recent works produced through a process she refers to as “landscape plus,” which marries observational photography with music, actions, and chance events. In Vivir para Vivir (Live to Live) (2015), Lertxundi draws parallels between land and the body as sites of pleasure and experience. The autobiographical 025 Sunset Red (2016) links the Basque and Californian landscapes through the filmmaker’s upbringing by Spanish communists. Words, Planets (2018) mixes texts and readings with shots of domestic spaces and sun-drenched vistas to evoke the many ways lived experience transcends representation. Also screening: We Had the Experience but Missed the Meaning (2014), The Room Called Heaven (2012), and Cry When It Happens (2010).
2012–18, Laida Lertxundi, USA/Spain, 16mm, ca 60 minutes, followed by discussion
Laida Lertxundi in person
Laida Lertxundi was born in Bilbao, Spain, and works in Los Angeles. Her films have been exhibited and screened internationally, including LUX, London (2018); Katonah Museum of Art, New York (2018); Tabakalera, San Sebastian, Spain (2017); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016); Havana Biennial, Cuba (2015); Lofoten International Art Festival, Norway (2013); Lyon Biennale (2013); Whitney Biennial (2012); Roy and Edna Disney/Cal Arts Theater, Los Angeles (2018); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2017); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2017); Tate Modern, London (2016); Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2016); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2015); National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, (2015); Museo de Arte Moderno, Medellin, Colombia (2015); New York Film Festival (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2018); Edinburgh International Film Festival (2014); Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York (2014); PS1 MoMA (2013); Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago (2013); and Baltimore Museum of Art (2013). She teaches Film and Fine Art at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, and is the chair of Filmmaking Studies at Elias Querejeta Zine Eskola’s master’s program in San Sebastian, Spain. Lertxundi received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and a BFA from Bard College.
Interview: Laida Lertxundi (R. Emmet Sweeney, Film Comment)