just as walter benjamin once described the effect of the long exposure times of early photography as teaching “the models to live inside rather than outside the moment” such that “they grew as it were into the picture,” in alexandra cuesta’s films, the duration of each shot invites her subject to grow slowly into the image over time even as they respond directly to the presence of the filmmaker.1

weaving within and between the fragment, within and between the whole, cuesta’s durational images, like her subjects, grow in and beyond the frame, highlighting prevailing social structures and the poetics of common experience. as film scholar and critic nicole brenez states, cuesta’s cinema has the capacity to unveil the “astounding ‘gloria’ of the ordinary.”

the following are previously unpublished writings, photographs, and journal entries from cuesta’s TERRITORIO (2016) and DESPEDIDA (FAREWELL) (2013).