Author Archives: admin


10’ 18” | Black and White | 16mm captura | Digital | No sound WIP | 2022 | Cuba, México, France


In what was my third visit to Havana and initially a trip commissioned to experimentally register the making of a public sculpture, I found myself walking while waiting. Waiting, together with the other artists, to know if the making of the piece would even take place – some permits where on hold. Uncertainty and my limited time there, little over a month, uncoupled the works.
I found myself walking, revisiting, and filming. Mostly filming the neighborhood we stayed at: El vedad – Calle 9 between L and J, Parque de los suspiros…
Ascending and descending numbers and letters, bumping and u-turning at the Malecón, Almendares River, Zapata. My own sort of magna doodle (magnetic drawing toy) with the district. Doubling paths with faces, sites, trees, cats…that would start to become familiar. Doubling paths with my own memories of having been there as a child, as a teen… Coppelia again and again, sit in the park, now with wifi. It is and it isn’t a film of Havana; somehow it can and can’t be a film of Havana, in the same way a stroll is and it isn’t just walking.

Image (Directing, Filming, Editing) – Manuela De Laborde.
Featuring – Vecinos de Vedado, Luis Carricaburu
Developing – Estudios Churubusco
Postproduction – Light cone – Atelier 105
Color CorRection – Clovis Stocchetti
Thanks to

La espina dorsal de un duelo

1 hr 21’ | Digital + MiniDV + 16mm capture | Digital projection | Color and B&W | Sound | 2022

The backbone of loss — first feature.

Some accounts bend the soul. Such changes, such losses, fold us. We curl up around the hollow. Then, to raise is to unfold. That which requires forms of return, to dwell and reflect. Then, memories prove themselves useful: stacked up, a column of support; moved around they play novel roles and entertain.
At the peripheries of such accounts, in the process of change, external beings turn towards us, the world becomes loaded with entrails, the other moves us, while in face of everything we pour ourselves. Divides where never so present and simultaneously misty.
The backbone of loss is a trajectory. It is myth as verb and essay intertwined. It is the flexible virtuality of structures; diverse forms talk like sisters. Like Chiropractice, this film is an adjustment, proper and of cinema’s patterns towards the unpredictable, the playful or loving.

Producer, Director – Manuela De Laborde
Image + Text – Manuela de Laborde
Sound – Camila de Laborde
Camara “Celeste” – Tony García
Videographics – Mike Stoltz
Graphic design – Adolfo Vega
Developing + Transfer – Labo + Labtank + Josuelo Rueda
Color correction – Tony García + Manuela de Laborde
Recording studio – Finesse Records
Song credits – Opuntia + Jenny Berger Myhre
Final Sound Mix – Matías Pepe
Subtitles – Emmanuel Miranda
Staring – Citlali Cerón, John Martinez, Celeste Avila, Norma Lilia Cruz, José Luis Gómez, Norma Azucena Gómez, Juan Pablo Viedma, Chankin Jorge García Vázquez, Marco Urbina, Enrique González, José Dario Fernandez Mora, Ursula Rebollar, Florencia Carrizo


2’ 50” | 16mm capturo | 16mm + Digital | no sound | 2020 | Cuba

Luis Carricaburu languidly but with emphasis executes the movement; with generous patience towards the camera, as if he feared that the film would not be able to register it. The movement has been stripped of its perpetual combustion. Gestures abstracted from their environment are recombined to produce a language without content, phantoms of something that, elsewhere, are still alive.

Image – Manuela De Laborde.
Collaborator – Luis Carricaburu
Thanks to – Tezontle studio + Galeria Peana


21’45” | Digital + 16mm capture | 16MM | Color | Sound | 2021

The result of Conditional Cinema Program (2018-2022) residency with the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen. Its post-production was made during Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto Residency.
Ficciones is a spell that conjures representations as if imagined from the perspective of the plant world, that which invents prior to consciousness, as a thinking before thinking (M. Marder). Ceramic sculptures were gardened for a year letting plant life grow on them as their skin. Four super-8 cameras were made into a mobile, thereby also filming the process and its shared motion. To embrace the filmed material as fictional construction, it was optically printed and altered; to accompany the notion of the sculptures as possible chests, containers of heart, vocal sounds were recorded with Camila de Laborde and woven into the film.

Image – Manuela De Laborde.
Sound – Camila de Laborde + Daniel Hermann Collini
Commissioned + Financial Support – International Short Film Festival Oberhausen + Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto Residency

World Premier, 67. International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Conditional Cinema, 05/2021
Documenta Madrid – Manuela de Laborde focus film program, 05/2021
59th New York Film Festival – 24Sep-10 Oct/ 2021
Black Canvas Festival Mexico – Competition Más Allá del Canvas, 01-10/Oct/2021
65th BFI London Film Festival – Thinking with other senses program 6-17/Oct/2021
Nomadica Brescia – 21-25/April/2022
68 International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 30-9/May/2022
Rencontres Internacional Video Library 2 – 8 May (Paris) 16 – 22 Ago (Berlin) 2022
Midnight Sun Festival 15-19/June/2022
EXiS – International Competition Program, Seoul Art Cinema 15 july/ 2022 South Korea
Nomadica, Brescia 2022

Azúcar y saliva y vapor

15’20” | Digital + 16mm capture | Digital projection | Color and B&W | Sound | 2020

SUGAR AND SALIVA AND STEAM investigates with minimalism and tenderness, offering a counterproposal, the cinematic desire to be enveloping and three-dimensional, almost with suffocating levels at times.

Its “three-dimensionality” is explored via “poor” mechanisms – primary, direct, analogous, ancient, poetic … – without ceasing to frankly present their structure. Two first spaces for critical contemplation end with a tribute to Lygia Clark’s performance, Caminhando (Brazil 1963), to somehow impregnate the project with the posture and exploration of the admired conceptual art-movement of the Não-object.

Direction – Manuela De Laborde.
Sound – Sol Oosel.
Camera – Andrés Arochi
Production – Gonzalo Romero
Performance – Alana Burns
Graphic design – James Huw King
Financial support – UNAM, Síntesis FICUNAM

FICUNAM – 03/2020
FILMADRID – 10/2020


Curated by José Esparza Chong Chuy | Jardín 17 Luis Barragán, PEANA Off Site | 2022.

The backbone of this exhibition is Cinema. An ideal cinema where film and its fiction stop and expand to think about its cuts, understand its form, and question its image. In this cinema, movements become objects, images folded and thoughts are enunciated as a stream of consciousness that flows by its own inertia.

Some cuts are so subtle that they are almost imperceptible. Others are so marked that they distort everything. The cuts that shape a story sometimes appear to be definitive, like moments or breaks that dictate a linear trajectory. But there are times when a spine cuts in such a way that it reorganizes the order and changes the interpretation of what happened. In Manuela’s extended SSSinema memories chase gestures that were once warm. There is no projection, screen, seats, or corners. It’s a concave place, like the eye, that makes everything part of it-even dreams.



The exhibition brought together the work of Héctor Zamora, Roger White, Tezontle, Jorge Satorre, SANGREE, Pedro Reyes, Gala Porras-Kim, Jerónimo Elespe, Manuela de Laborde, Tomás Díaz Cedeño, Wendy Cabrera Rubio, and ASMA.

Work: Parte de una película fijada en el color de alguna flor (Fragment of a film, fixed by the color of a flower) 2020.

There is a formal restlessness in its combined registers (the stills and the poured resin), a restlessness in their montage, in their informality, in their invitation and sensorial activation that incites the living.

The presence of the filmic and emphasis on its primary element of production (two consecutive frames) mixed with the sensation of liquidity, that which is full of subsequences, stimulates philosophical thoughts concerning movement. A notion synonymous of all change, hence pushing the idea of animation and kineticism to the most extensive parameters of their definition. The work emphasizes the flexibility of virtualities and the slippery nature of art as a medium. It is clear then, that there is no fixed destination.


Collective exhibition at the MOBIUS HOUSE of Ernesto Gómez Gallardo. Curated by José Esparza Chong Cuy and presented by PEANA Gallery.

Manuela de Laborde presented an adapted version of her super8-camera-mobile, paired with a 4 monitor installation looping previously recorded content from each camera of the current sight: a strong characteristic of the house, the floor. Original furniture was used to display the monitors, volcanic rock from the garden was the counter weight of the indoor install. As a result, a kind dialogue was made between the swirling cameras, the curling stairs and the physical reality of super 8 film – as that rolled up strip of celluloid that introduced domestic filming.

Shown next to the work of Leonor Antunes, Francisco Artigas, Asma, Dr.Atl, Frida Escobedo, Claudia Fernández, Mario García Torres, Ernesto Gómez Gallardo, Jill Magid, Esther McCoy, Carlos Mérida, Mario Navarro, Juan O’Gorman, Clara Porset, Pedro Reyes, Armando Salas Portugal, Cooking Sections and Tezontle.

-Ito / -Ita

Contemporary art course for children.

-ito/-ita promotes the education of new practices; being current, they are more opaque, still subjective and at times contradictory. They therefore still require experimentation, time, and personalized guidance.

It is a punctual but accessible course, based on recycling, appropriation and change. We work in a line of experimental production, mixing processes and formats.

The idea is to show how we relate to the material and to images without evident ‘content’, to demonstrate the changes that these can have and how the decisions we make about them represent us, emphasizing the material instability and the registration of the constant change that surrounds us.

Each day a guest artist donates material, talks about their work, and shares ideas and techniques. The format of the course seeks to bring children closer to their work in order to open the space for feedback between the students and the artist. In this way we want to promote the idea of turning the discoveries of a piece into public domain and not as something that only belongs to the artist.

The enrollment of some students helps us provide scholarships to other students.


Recurring, and hybrid, residency at The International Short Film Festival of Oberhausen (2018-2020|22). Curated by Mika Taanila.

The curatorial premise: a slowed down live cinema, away from sensational excess and towards the exploration of post-capitalist ideas. The decline of manual labor in many fields rises important questions concerning automatism and the problem of the ‘obsolete human’; under such thought, expanded cinema, which is usually conditioned by the presence of a live element, became the starting point. What if such cinema became the only peaceful and intimate oasis available? An antithesis to bit size culture. What if there is absolutely no manipulating narrative? What if…

The project Ficciones explored, through expanded projection, performance and gardening, ideas concerning the “immediate” together with notions such as intimacy, touch, care and living matter, duration as meditation, action displaced, múltiple registers, creative feedback and synchronicity.

Starting in 2018 with the making of ceramic sculptures at a 1:1 ratio to a chest cavity, so that they too could “become containers of heart”. They where then ‘planted’ during a performance while having a live/delayed projection.

The sculptures became the main actors and hosts of a living ecosystem of moss. Activating, through out the year, the contemplation of their caretakers – local collaborators.

These extremely slow movies where filmed in 2019 with a multiple super-8 camera mobile. Multiplicity, decentralization and gravity inspired such making. The rushes where projected while poetic thoughts on the process where read out loud.

The residency concluded in the screening of the final film, Ficciones.

Una niña

El 3, 4, 10 y 11 de Agosto en el Tamayo presentamos la adaptación en teatro de la obra: Una Niña es una Cosa a Medio Formar de Eimear McBride. Es una obra realmente única! Boletos: >> Una historia sobre la pérdida, el duelo, el dolor y la alienación de la identidad. Un relato intimo que como […]

Notas y notas y notas… w / JENNY BERGER MYHRE

36’36”| Expanded cinema | 4D Sound | 2019

Electronics and voice – Jenny Berger Myhre
Video and Objects – Manuela de Laborde
Children’s voice – Tato, Lila and Luciana from -ito/-ita.

Commissioned by Borealis Festival for Experimental Music, Norway; presented in collaboration with El Nicho Festival, Mexico. Supported by the Arts Council of Norway.

Manuela and Jenny spent two weeks together in Mexico City, trying to discover the city in the present through its past – creating a psychological map via a game of un-compromised association. To do this, they started looking for sound and images left behind at flea markets in slides, tapes, films, objects… These finds lead the ‘treasure’ hunt – they revisited places, went after the ‘same’ sounds and objects found in the slides and tapes; a ‘failed’ task highlighting the difference between what is looked for, what is found, and what emerges in between.

The cinematic backbone of the project responds to the specific genre of ghost stories. In form, the thought of ghosts provided the mental construct of a void, the ghost being what is not there, surrounded by presence – it is at two places at once. The ghost is a wish to connect to something bigger than oneself, and thus it reflects the one seeking it. The ghost story is inherently chilling, curious, inexplicable.

A first presentation took place at El Nicho Experimental Music Festival in Casa Del Lago, CDMX. The work was then further developed into a site-specific performance for Borealis at Visningsrommet; again, using objects, stills, film, tape and field recordings in an attempt to manifest their own exquisite corpse or ghost of Mexico City.


Solo Show – C113, CalArts – 2014.

No chronotope in their translations, as if their lack of color was their limitation. So then, they are not The work; bare prototypes only, bones that never made it to the moving world. Each with independent miniature dramas become the objects of a study, the documentation of a frozen process. And although the exhibition space makes of things neat presentations, a transparent curtain standing between the human eye and the altered tumbleweed, calls to our attention the lack of spectacle. A spectacle we suddenly openly worship, next to the notion of failure. A taught of its privileged experience rises, a here-and-now that could never be translated as such with an artificial lens. Only stereo vision and the brain can ignite the play between the courageous reds, in the foreground, and the shyer blues of the spectrum seen at a distance.

They propose ‘A world is still in process of taking place’. In the meantime, nature is seen as if it where an artifice.

The failure to be films is a sense of double loss. The tumbleweed dies, comes detached to guarantee collective existence, it travels to spread its seeds. Life exceeds small definition. Yet brought here it dies again; only the image of itself and
a hologram caught in a Ping-Pong game between dimensions.

Something similar is happening to the others too, Becoming is The Ghost. None of these are.


Residency at Generator Projects Gallery, Dundee – 2012.

Exploring the notion of maquettes, uncompomassing formats of proposal, as part of an on-going research into their potential to take our perception to ‘monumental’ manifestations, virtual destinies, as well as being proper and finalized sculptural works, parallels were drawn with the gesture of an open studio: in which the intimacies of an artist’s practice are exposed to wider participation.

GENERATORprojects temporarily became the studio in which Manuela opened up her practice to those visiting the space.


What graduated me from art school. 2012.

I have been busy falling for someone. The sentence above is a personal sentence. It is included here to be critically questioned. Through this questioning I will try to present the manner of my research and highlight some of the features, subjects, of my work. The “I” above is opposite to what I search-for while working. I aim for a for-them, like-them, for-that, about-that, for-you, or by-it, or all of them. Although, like with some other work’s titles, I expose the “I” to humor myself, to stress my self-awareness and evoke, if possible, sympathy (I fear total foreignness in my work). So then, Why share this here and now? Is the -busy- justifying some lack of presence or attention in everything that has been happening next to the -falling for someone- (eg. graduating)? Is the writer making a division between personal life and work practice? Is the “I” shared because it can’t see the division? Is the “I” concerned with how much it shares by keeping information undisclosed? Who is this -someone? Is it a -someone- or could it refer to something? Is the I shy? Is the sentence independent from the writer? Do the words within the sentence refer to art talk? – Falling? Could -falling- refer to failure? Acknowledging B. J. Ader’s work (Tacita Dean). Is the present tense in the verb avoiding finalization and keeping the fall uncertain? What does it mean to share the act of -falling for someone- next to the notion of failure? Is failure in Love less seductive than failure in art? The uncertain I, in the process of falling, has not fallen but is experiencing the pleasure that comes with -falling for someone-, could this mirror art practice, an in-process process? Is -falling- one of those things that everyone can relate to? Is the work successful enough? If Love is the grand topic behind this small sentence, are the works small proposals of similar grandiosities? If -falling- is present and recent, was this I alone before? Can that be seen in the work? Has the I behind the work been successfully abstracted? If not, does this failure highlight its conflict? Is there confidence behind all this?

-Falling- and my interest in the inherent failure to present what is beyond me has made me feel like a kid, a three-lettered word, small. Nothing is quite there.



Self curated show with Grace Sherrington at E17.

Each with their own hyper-observational eye.
Work with the common interest to investigate the subtleties, also as spectaculars, of the everyday.