O cinema etno-poético de Alexandra Cuesta by Icaro Junho 04, 2024 0 Investigação, Novidades

O cinema etno-poético de Alexandra Cuesta

The Ethno-Poetic Cinema of Alexandra Cuesta

Screening and talk with Alexandra Cuesta moderated by Raquel Schefer

May 24th 2024, 6pm

Rua Damasceno Monteiro, 12 r/c, 1170-112 Lisboa

In English

3rd floor, with stairs

Free entry

The third screening of the programme “Amérika: Cinematographic Gestures to Re-enchant the World” focuses on the ethno-poetic cinema of filmmaker Alexandra Cuesta, who, in 2020, presented her feature “Territorio” (2016) at Hangar. Born in Ecuador with an MFA from the “Angelino” California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), under the supervision of filmmakers such as James Benning, Thom Andersen, and Billy Woodberry, Cuesta’s biography and filmography exemplifies the overlap of contact zones. Cuesta’s transcultural and cosmopolitan background shapes aesthetically, politically and epistemically her work, situated at the crossroads of an ethnographic lineage (establishing a dialogue with the filmography of the Guayasamín Brothers, among other filmmakers in Ecuador) and Californian experimental film. From “Piensa en mí” (2009) to the two parts of the ongoing series “Notes, Imprints” (2020- ), passing by “Despedida” (“Farewell”) (2013), the four 16mm films screened in this programme, Cuesta’s cinema shows its capacity to unveil, as argued by Nicole Brenez, “the astounding ‘gloria’ of the ordinary,” within Merleau-Pontian terms. This capacity results from formal procedures such as the work of fixity, duration and narrative temporality in conjunction with a set of epistemological choices. Cuesta’s situated aesthetics is anchored deeply in the diasporic context of production of her films, against the backdrop of Post-Fordist North America, migration and urban politics, and geopolitical transformation, but also in the phenomenological experience of constructing a relational fabric between the subject and the object of representation, the observer and the observed. Cuesta not only de-structures the hierarchies of representation and knowledge processes —to paraphrase Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, in her films, the observed is the very condition of the gaze and, therefore, the image— but she also redefines, in the “Notes, Imprints” diptych, the modalities of a politics of reciprocity and affectivity, a crucial gesture in the age of automated genocide.

Alexandra Cuesta (Ecuador) is a filmmaker and visual artist who combines experimental film traditions with documentary practices. Her 16mm films and videos are created through an associative and improvisational process and often investigate the reciprocity of the gaze in time-based representation. Some of the notions she explores include instances of displacement, the Latin American diaspora, and the poetics of the everyday experience. Her work has screened in Art of the Real at Lincoln Center, New York Film Festival, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, FID Marseille Film Festival, Viennale, FIC Valdivia, Anthology Film Archives, among others. She was recently invited to present complete retrospectives at the Open City Documentary Festival (UK), CRAC Occitane (France), and Doc’s Kingdom in (Portugal). She has an MFA in Film and Video from the California Institute of the Arts. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship for Film and Video.

‘Amérika: Gestos Cinematográficos para Reencantar o Mundo’ is a Research Program curated and mentored by Raquel Schefer