Laida Lertxundi, WORDS, PLANETS

Thu 21 Jun–Sun 1 Jul 2018

Tramway, Glasgow

Preview: Thursday 21 June, 7–9pm
Exhibition hours: Tuesday – Friday, 12–5pm; Saturday – Sunday, 12–6pm

WORDS, PLANETS is the first solo exhibition of Laida Lertxundi’s work in the UK, presented simultaneously across two venues at Tramway in Glasgow and LUX in London.

Laida Lertxundi is best known for her beautiful and enigmatic 16mm films, which bring together ideas from conceptual art and structural film with a radical, embodied, feminist perspective. Shot in and around Los Angeles, where she has lived and worked for over a decade, Lertxundi’s films might be described as ‘emotional cartographies’. Moving between intimate interior architectures and the magnitude of open landscapes, they map out a geography transformed by affective and subjective states.

The exhibition features the European premiere of a new three-channel film installation entitled WORDS, PLANETS (2018)The work forms part of a larger project called ‘Landscape Plus’, an 11-part series of films and installations, which each deal with a particular geography and subject of study. Each section of ‘Landscape Plus’ is conceived as a structural exercise, lived experience or memoir, which together form a series of embodied experiments that link a formalist film practice to intricate literary forms from Spain and Latin America.

WORDS, PLANETS applies the six principles for composition delineated in ‘Opinions on Painting by the Monk of the Green Pumpkin’, written by the eighteenth-century Chinese painter Shih-T’ao 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. It is filmed and recorded in Habana, Cuba; Los Angeles; Devil’s Punch Bowl; Ryan Mountain; Jurupa Hills, Pasadena and Idyllwild, California.

The exhibition is co-produced by Tramway and LUX Scotland, and is curated by Nicole Yip, Director of LUX Scotland.

WORDS, PLANETS is also presented at LUX in London from 13 June – 7 July 2018.

As part of the exhibition’s public programme, LUX Scotland will present a screening of Laida Lertxundi’s films made between 2007 and 2016 on Tuesday 19 June, 7pm at the Andrew Stewart Cinema, Gilmorehill Campus, University of Glasgow. The screening will be followed by a conversation between the artist and Nicole Yip, Director of LUX Scotland.

Laida Lertxundi, WORDS, PLANETS, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

About the artist

Laida Lertxundi

Laida Lertxundi (b. Bilbao, 1981) works with moving image, photography and printmaking, documenting the Californian landscape while engaging with questions of affect and subjectivity in relation to geography. Her main body of work is shot on 16mm film in a process that she calls ‘Landscape Plus’, which combines filmic records of people and places with an emphasis on diegetic sound and music, resulting in languid passages of cinematic language, bodily desire and existential awareness. She employs a fragmentary approach to editing in which cinematic forms of storytelling are replaced by a focus on process and materiality. Her work highlights the tension between form and the experience that will always exceed it.

Lertxundi received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and a BFA from Bard College. She has had solo screenings and exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2017); fluent, Santander (2017); Tabakalera, San Sebastián (2017); Tate Modern, London (2016); Vdrome (2014); La Alhondiga, Bilbao (2014); and Marta Cervera Contemporary, Madrid (2013). Her work has been featured in Made in L.A., Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016); Bienal de La Habana, Cuba (2015); Al’s Grand Hotel, Frieze Projects, New York, (2014); LIAF Biennial, Norway (2013); the Lyon Biennale (2013); and the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2012).

She teaches on the Fine Art and Humanities programmes at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and is Chair of the Filmmaking and Moving Image Department at Elias Querejeta Film School in San Sebastián.