Author Archives: Frieda Lopez


18’40” | 16mm capture | DCP projection | Color and B&W | stereo | 2019

Image – Manuela De Laborde . Sound – Manuela De Laborde and Carlos Kater (field recordings) + Camila De Laborde and Daniel Hermann Collini (composition). Production – MONTEM Collect and Culinary project: Silvestre.

En La Era (In The Era) is an abstract work documenting the Experimental Concrete Workshop in Las Pozas, Xilitla. A diptych of Manuela’s subjective style of documentation, the film uses color and black and white to create two separate dreamlike and fragmented expressions of a single event: a group of foreigners immersed in the jungle among the surreal constructions of Edward James while creating sculptural works of their own. The film’s viewer is thrust into all that this stunning setting entails – the local residents, the nature, food preparation… En La Era is firmly grounded in the sensorial, with Camila Fuchs’s sound design melding sound scoring with field recordings from beyond the viewer’s visual frame of reference.


24’38” | 16mm + 35mm | Color | Optical Sound | 2016

Image – Manuela De Laborde. Sound – Manuela De Laborde + Camila De Laborde. Titles – Freddy Taylor + Minjung Kim

The world is nothing but “world-as-meaning” ―Merleau-Ponty.

AS WITHOUT SO WITHIN is a contemplative film. It is the result of conceptual concerns and examinations on the act of going to the cinema, as well as the experiences offered, in particular by author filmmaking. AS WITHOUT’s images begin as documentations of prop-sculptures, intended as tools to create visual fields that are later manipulated through hybrid visual techniques. The sculpture’s materiality points to the materiality of film, and their forms consider the infrastructure of the theatre (its darkness, the frame and silence). The stillness of the spectator determines the stillness of the objects.

The almost absent sound, made in collaboration with Camila De Laborde, was conceived to be implied enclosure of space. Various continuous noise layers offer direction through the film while specific sounds, flirting cinematic sync, refresh the image and bring the spectator’s attention to the present moment.

AS WITHOUT encourages the possibility that the surfaces of things are entities worthy of their own depth for and in themselves, demanding to be seen and confronted as they exist. AS WITHOUT explores the visual and emotion, images as sensorial experience.


12’58” | Apple ProRes 422 HQ | Color y B&N | Stereo | 2019

Image + Sound – Manuela de Laborde

A registered realisation on the importance of pleasure for Manuela’s practice and its relation, with Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments. Phasing Pleasure is a drawing that became an essay and a soundscape. During the process of its making, the notion of the individual in need of the other was felt. Desiring direct speech with pleasure and under the influence of Steve Reich’s musical notion of phasing, a double presence was created during postproduction. In someways similar to Félix González-Torres’ Untitled (Perfect Lovers) during its trajectory shared individuality is highlighted.


11’59” | Apple ProRes 422 HQ | Color | Stereo | 2015

Image + Sound – Manuela de Laborde

A minimal experience around the tension of a video’s reality. The construction of a fiction that is revealed as such when the sound is progressively stripped away up to its original format – sound foley.

Screened at Borealis Festival, Bergen – Norway (2019).


Image + Sound – Manuela de Laborde

Film essay on the new image technology done by an Electron Microscope, which aesthetically relates to some aspects of Manuela’s plastic practice. The Exponential Nature of Images, also contemplates the general public’s interaction with these images: the internet and computer. The diegetic sound of her studio, that incorporated itself to the film during the screen recording, plays on the film’s posible reference to sci-fi genre.

Screened at Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival – Czech Republic.


6’35” | Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) | B&W | Stereo | 2014
Image + sound design – Manuela de Laborde

First palimpsest of three: Viveros, with its strokes, attempts to do an abstract record the Mexican culture, within and abroad (the sound, that feels diegetic, was actually recorded in Santa Clarita, Los Angeles).
The notion of movement created by the simple sliding of photographs, together with the fragmented sound and the elimination of color, reduce the locations to abstractions. Removed from its real sources, this presentation finds its soil and source of hydration in the sensory experience, free of obvious narrative, that the film provides over time.

‘a palimpsest of which the imprints of human action are continually being erased and re-written and quite often smudged’ (Armillas, 1971 : 665)

Screened at Seffbinghamton and Antimatter Festival- 2015.


2’24” | 16mm | B&W | No Sound | 2019

Línea is a hot (straight from the camera) animated film. Shot in single frames, it fragmentally captures and (re)constructs the continuous movement of a horizon made of dark water and oil. Together with it’s negative copy, when presented as a double projection, the claro-obscuro landscape is cancelled out; only during small moments of mechanical divergence, contrast is revealed again.

Screened at Faro Aragon – cdmx


12’46” | Apple ProRes 422 HQ | Color | No Sound | 2014

What seems at first like a static shot of the inside of a club, is slowly revealed, by passers-by, to be an overtly dense lighting shop somewhere in a busy street. This portrait of a traditional commerce shop in Mexico downtown, while never revealing more that itself, becomes a metaphor for what exists in the rest of the outer frame, the rest of downtown – a dense combination of…. everything.


23’34” | Apple ProRes 422 HQ | Color | Stereo | 2018

Image – Manuela de Laborde / Sound – Juan Pablo Viedma

Fantasma (Spanish for Ghost), like its name, is an “apparition” project, an image imprinted in fantasy. The form shaped the concept and its unexpected behaviour (the echoed image, recording ‘error’) provokes the gaze.
It is the simple recording with a cellphone of a walk through the mountains of Lake Hughes, California. The time of year, winter, rendered colors more saturated. Together Juan Pablo Viedma, we like to think that Fantasma becomes the portrait of the spectator’s mind, promoting subjectivity. The film leads us to question the contemplation of nature through an artefact, the camera, when its default runs over the image. Juan Pablo Viedma took inspiration in the contrast analogue-digital for the sound design.
Fantasma is a compromise towards the comprehension that: like a walk, a movie only offers its experience over time.


5’40” | Apple ProRes 422 HQ | Color | Stereo | 2015

Image + sound – Manuela de Laborde

Titled after Maurice Merleay-Ponty’s book: Le visible et L’invisible, is a family portrait and an observation on our relationship(s) to the image. My grandmother’s blindness and devotion contrast and defy the experience, seeing, of my uncle, mother, and myself, that document exhaustingly in our cameras what she holds only in memory.


18’28” | Apple ProRes 422 HQ | Color | No Sound | 2016

This structural, appropriation piece takes from two internet sources: a mime performance and a solitary cluber. This work is a study and an entertainment around notions of acting, self-consciousness and its absence, documentary and slight fictional narrative and, most importantly, the portrait of a woman.


5’31” 18’28” | Apple ProRes 422 HQ | Color | Stereo | 2015

Image + sound – Manuela de Laborde

An intimate play locating the phenomenon of animation once the hand comes in touch with the object, the other.
The spider to my hand, is what my hand is to the spider. It is a duet and a revelation of intention.


3’04” | Apple ProRes 422 HQ | Color | Mono | 2014

A portrait of mi sister, Camila


0’35” | 16mm | Color | Optical track | 2014

The first complete 16mm film I ever made. A small test attempting to just document the two landscapes of a place, close up and far away, and their relationship with the frame but that became a dramatic time lapse of ethereal behaviour, the ambient and light leaks.


5’14” | Apple ProRes 422 HQ | Color | Stereo | 2013

With this video mix I applied to masters – much of its visions, like the conceptual frame the title gives, still holds for me.


10’47” | Apple ProRes 422 HQ | Color | Stereo | 2013

Music video for a previous version of the band Camila Fuchs.


Breve Gallery – 2017

AWSW is the new fragmentation of her latest project AS WITHOUT SO WITHIN, it is the abstraction and representation of its stills, an intrinsic part of the film itself. To build a piece off another piece, can be read in parallel to her interest towards parasitic organisms, or as the notion of internal resonances within an artistic practice or just simply as an economic act. Manuela identifies these exercises as formal approaches to represent the gaze, its multiplicity and its complex relationship with the object.

In her cosmology, without certainties or statements, the space occupied by a subject and an object is deployable, exponential, and as a consequence, its temporality: multiple – hence the presence in her work of a thought in motion, abstract and at times troubled.

AS WITHOUT SO WITHIN was presented at: 20th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_VideoBrasil (17), Toronto IFF (16), Winnipeg WNDX – Best International Short (16), 25fps F Zagreb – Grand Prix (16), IFF Rotterdam – Tiger Shorts (17), New Directions MoMa + FSLC (17), Cineteca Nacional CDMX (17), Chicago UFF (16), Singapore IFA (), Curtas Vila Do Conde (17), EXiS F Seoul (17), Portland IFF (16), FIC Morelia (17), Galería Breve (16), Milwaukee UFF (16), L’Âge d’Or Prize at L’Âge d’Or Film Festival (17), FilMADRID (16), among others.

4 Failed Films

Solo show – C113, CalArts – 2014

No chronotope in their translations,
As if their lack of color was their limitation
Because of so: they are not the work,
Just prototypes, bones that never made it to the moving-image world.
Each, with independent miniature dramas become the objects of a study, 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 branch, calls to our attention the lack of spectacle.
A spectacle we suddenly come to worship, next to the notion of failure, as a privileged experience, a here-and-now that could never be translated as such with an artificial lens.
Only binary vision and the human mind can ignite the play between the courageous reds, in the foreground, and the shyer blues of the visible spectrum to be seen at a distance.
It proposes
‘A world is still in process of taking place’
In the meantime, nature is seen as if it where an artifice.
This failure to be films is a sense of double loss.
Tumbleweed dies, comes detached, guarantees its collective existence, travels to spread its seeds – movement powered by wind; we could say it is always alive through its activity.
Life exceeds its small definition.
Again brought to the exhibition space becomes only the image of itself,
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 and Solo show – Generator Projects Gallery, Dundee – 2012

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



with Grace Sherrington at E17

Self curated show.
Each with their own hyper-observational eye, their work shares a common interest in investigating the subtleties and spectaculars of the everyday.