Manuela de Laborde: El duelo de una espina dorsal

12 - 27 February 2022




PEANA is pleased to present El duelo de una espina dorsal, An exhibition and film by Manuela de Laborde, at Jardín 17 Casa Barragán curated by José Esparza Chong Cuy. 


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.


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 fold are cut, and thoughts are enunciated as a stream of consciousness that flows by its own inertia.


Through an essay film titled The backbone of loss and other objects that emerge from it, Manuela de Laborde, filmmaker and visual artist, seeks to give shape to narrative. Like a chiropractor twisting a back to adjust the energies of a body, The backbone of loss twists and reorganizes the linearity of her fiction to make her own SSSinema.


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. Within this SSSinema there are personal reflections that only make sense there, such as the invisible nod to Henri Rousseau’s The Snake Charmer, which early on inspired many of the ideas behind this exhibition. Manuela interprets Rousseau’s painting as a metaphor of an inverted cinema’s theater: the moon being the projector, the charmer and her snakes are everything that exists outside the screen, and the wild surroundings are the representation of what would normally be within the screen.


El duelo de una espina dorsal explores the impossibility of capturing the totality of a story in an image, or in an object, or in anything. Following the expansive tradition that once led some weaving departments to become mixed media departments, Manuela weaves palm and film, to continue expanding her understanding of cinema, its narrative, and the creation-myth.


José Esparza Chong Cuy