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Alexandra Cuesta: Territorio

Alexandra Cuesta: Territorio

Alexandra Cuesta - Territorio

Los Angeles Filmforum at MOCA

Alexandra Cuesta: Territorio

With filmmaker Alexandra Cuesta in person!

At MOCA Grand Avenue, 250 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Alexandra Cuesta’s experimental films and videos are poetic documents of people and public spaces. Her newest work, Territorio (2016), is a series of portraits of the people of Ecuador photographed in their environment. Progressing as a series of fragments, life plays before the camera while the subject of each shot holds a pose. Just as Walter Benjamin once described the effect of the long exposure times of early photography as teaching “the models to live inside rather than outside the moment” such that “they grew as it were into the picture,” in Cuesta’s film, the duration of each shot invites her subject to grow slowly into the image over time even as they respond directly to the presence of the filmmaker.

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TICKETS $15 general admission, $8 students with ID

FREE for MOCA & Los Angeles Filmforum members; must present current membership card to claim free tickets.

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Alexandra Cuesta (b.1980) is a filmmaker and visual artist who lives and works in Ecuador and the United States. Cuesta’s films document the public sphere and are in dialogue with experimental and avant-garde film traditions. Her cinematic approach emphasizes formal considerations of image making along with an improvisational and associative process. Her films have screened at the New York Film Festival, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Viennale International Film Festival, Vienna; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Palacio Nacional de Bellas Artes , Mexico City; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Habana Film Festival; BFI Film Festival, London; Queens Museum of Art; International Film Festival Oberhausen; among others. She recently had solo exhibitions at Kino Palais and the BAFICI Film Festival, Buenos Aires; the Valdivia International Film Festival, Chile; Off Off Camera, Courtisane, Belgium; Anthology Film Archives, New York; and more. Cuesta has an MFA in Film/Video from the California Institute of the Arts and a BFA in Photography from Savannah College of Art and Design. She teaches in the Cinema Department at Binghamton University – State University of New York.


Education Programs at MOCA, including Contemporary Art Start and Sunday Studio, and the MOCA Teen Program, are generously supported by The Hearst Foundations, Banc of California, MOCA Projects Council, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, MOCA Projects Council, The Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation, Edison International, Joseph Drown Foundation, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, Satterberg Foundation, May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc., Dwight Stuart Youth Fund, Michael Asher Foundation, The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, The Sherman Family Foundation, The Rhonda S. Zinner Foundation, The Winnick Family Foundation, and Pazia Bermudez-Silverman.

Los Angeles Filmforum at MOCA furthers MOCA’s mission to question and adapt to the changing definitions of art and to care for the urgency of contemporary expression with bimonthly screenings of film and video organized and co-presented by Los Angeles Filmforum—the city’s longest-running organization dedicated to weekly screenings of experimental film, video, documentary, and animation.


terriotrio still 3 copy



2016, HD, color, sound, 66 minutes

Director, Alexandra Cuesta; Producer, Alfredo Mora / Alexandra Cuesta / Micaela Rueda; Cinematography, Alexandra Cuesta; Editing, Pablo Mazzolo / Alexandra Cuesta; Sound, Xavier Müller;

Postproduction, Juan Carlos Elizalde 

Shot in Ecuador, the journey opens in the ocean, crosses the mountains, and descends into the jungle. A stationary camera portrays images of the landscape and of people waiting to be observed. The film is shot in three different regions in Ecuador, inspired by the travel journals of Henri Michaux, a Belgian avant-garde poet who traveled to Ecuador in 1926. In his journals, he arrives by boat and explores the various geographies in the country. He describes his encounters through detailed observation, yet by his own account, considers the book to be an incomplete piece. I was fascinated by his fragmentary approach to formal structure and by his raw elegy to the everyday that led me to my own description. –Alexandra Cuesta