Laida Lertxundi

Vivir para Vivir / Live to live

Galeria Marta Cervera, Madrid

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Laida Lertxundi
Vivir para Vivir / Live to live
11 min
Format & Technical

Single channel large screen, 16mm transferred to video, colour, sound
Edition of 7 + 1 AP

  • Music: Ezra Buchla, Albert Ortega, Laura Steenberge, Tashi Wada.
  • Text: Bioy Casares, El Sueño de los Héroes
  • Produced by: Laida Lertxundi
  • Postproduction: Laida Lertxundi
  • Sound mix: Ezra Buchla 
  • Photography: Laida Lertxundi 
  • Choreography: Laida Lertxundi 
  • Animation: Laida Lertxundi 
  • Cast: Christina C.Nguyen, Ren Ebel, Tanner Cook, Laura Steenberge
  • Special Thanks: Brian Block, ACB, Amina Cain, Minjung Kim, Michael Robinson, Headlands Center for the Arts, CFF Fellowship for Visual Art
  • Shot in: California at Forgotten Pass, Key's Point, Mount Tam, The Pacific Ocean, Azusa, Death Valley and Los Angeles.
  • Made with: Tanner Cook, Ren Ebel and Christina C. Nguyen
  • Typography: Lucas Quigley

A certain trajectory of being lost is drawn across sparsely populated mountain regions while physical processes from heartbeat to orgasm shape image, sound and color patterns until the horizon is reached.

Quantification also looms large in Lertxundi’s Vivir para vivir (Live to Live), which approaches the vexed relationship between structure and sentiment, or put differently, between representation and experience. “If I want to remember what happened on this trip, what should I do?” This question, drawn from writer Adolfo Bioy Casares, is introduced at the beginning of the film in subtitles on a black screen, situated between shots of a Southwestern mountain landscape. Within this frame of memory and desire, Vivir para vivir probes what happens to embodied experience when it becomes entangled with those techniques that seek to make it manageable and intelligible, filmic representation foremost among them. […] As the notion of the quantified self becomes a neoliberal buzzword promising self-mastery and increased productivity, Lertxundi leads her viewers to a very different way of considering how life might be at once measured and unmeasurable, and how the cinema might be situated at the very intersection of the two. Never has Lertxundi’s tremendous ability to both continue and contest a predominantly male tradition of experimental filmmaking been as evident as in this intelligent and moving work, in which she continues to be fascinated by structure while casting doubt upon its ability to capture the flux of life.

Artforum, Erika Balsom, February 2016