Laura Huertas Millán: Ethnographic Fiction as Deconstruction and Reinvention

Laura Huertas Millán: Ethnographic Fiction as Deconstruction and Reinvention

Laura Huertas Millán, Journey to a Land Otherwise Known (still), 2011.

Aesthetics of Resistance

Straub-Huillet and Contemporary Moving-Image Art

Laura Huertas Millán: Ethnographic Fiction as Deconstruction and Reinvention

Admission starts at $5

March 4, 2023, 5pm
172 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Join us at e-flux Screening Room on Saturday, March 4 at 5pm for Ethnographic Fiction as Deconstruction and Reinvention, a screening of Laura Huertas Millán’s films followed by a video discussion with the artist.

Entwining ethnographic fictions and historical enquiries, Laura Huertas Millan’s moving-image works engage with strategies of survival, resistance, and resilience. Sensuous and immersive, her films propose embodied and emotional experiences where aesthetics and politics are indissociable. The screening features three films by Laura Huertas Millán: Journey to a Land Otherwise Known, Black Sun, and The Labyrinth that all together explore the connection between the political and the personal, as well as the interplay between colonial histories and the present day, labor and traditions, social realities, and imagination.

This screening constitutes the fourth event of “Communities, Labor, and Class Relations,” the third chapter of the four-part series Aesthetics of Resistance: Straub-Huillet and Contemporary Moving-Image Art taking place at e-flux Screening Room in monthly chapters between December 2022 and March 2023. Read more on the series here.

Aesthetics of Resistance: Straub-Huillet and Contemporary Moving-Image Art is produced and organized by e-flux; with the support of the German Film Office, an initiative of the Goethe-Institut and German Films. The screening of Laura Huertas Millán is co-presented with World Records.


Journey to a Land Otherwise Known (2011, 23 minutes)
A documentary fiction inspired by the first accounts of the natural and ethnographic explorations in America by colonizers, missionaries, and scientists. Shot in the Tropical Greenhouse of Lille, France, the film uses both the architecture and the plants of this enclosed botanic garden as narrative supports for an exploratory journey. Led by the voice-over of an explorer, the film explores the notion of exoticism, and evokes the violent origins of the so-called New World and the endurance of the imagery it engendered.

Sol Negro (Black Sun) (2016, 43 minutes)
The title is as evocative of solar eclipse as it is of the “dark spleen” that doctors, throughout antiquity, used to attribute to melancholic and suicidal drives, especially as they affected artists. Here such drives end up striking the existence of Antonia, an opera singer whose dark beauty brings light to the film. Through discreet and elliptical staging, Laura Huertas Millán presents Antonia’s multi-faceted character. Family bonds are delicately explored not so much for an origin of evil but as a kind of introspective polyphony: the voices of aunt, mother and daughter (the director herself) are heard as she struggles, through fiction, to escape from her family’s fate. Relationships between body and mind, as well as depression and artistic creation, are highlighted through snippets, ongoing questioning and infinite tact. The film gradually spreads some of the poison gnawing at one’s mind and causing stomach aches, slowly releasing melancholia and deep sadness as they flow away from the bodies so closely looked at through words, breath, singing or weeping, and at times even while eating. Breathing in, breathing out: a task much harder than it might seem at first. The quest for truth unfolds through Antonia’s lifetime, both at times of strength and vulnerability: the soprano is condemned to sing in an empty hall, much like a sun no-one can look at directly without having one’s eyes burned. (Céline Guénot)

El Laberinto (The Labyrinth) (2018, 21 minutes)
The Labyrinth speaks to the syncretism of contemporary Colombia, where the disaster of narcocapitalism coexists with enduring precolonial relations to the world, creating an accord between the violence of the drug wars, the violence of European conquest, and possibilities of survival and resistance against both. (Erika Balsom)

For more information, contact

–Two flights of stairs lead up to the building’s front entrance at 172 Classon Avenue. 
–For elevator access, please RSVP to The building has a freight elevator which leads into the e-flux office space. Entrance to the elevator is nearest to 180 Classon Ave (a garage door). We have a ramp for the steps within the space.          
–e-flux has an ADA-compliant bathroom. There are no steps between the Screening Room and this bathroom.

Film, Colonialism & Imperialism, Anthropology & Ethnography, Land & territory, Psychology & Psychoanalysis
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Aesthetics of Resistance: Straub-Huillet and Contemporary Moving-Image Art

Laura Huertas Millán is a Colombian artist and filmmaker based in Paris, France, whose practice stands at the intersection between cinema, contemporary art, and research. Selected in major cinema festivals such as the Berlinale, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), International Film Festival Rotterdam, New York Film Festival, and Cinéma du Réel, her films have been awarded at the Locarno Film Festival, FIDMarseille, Doclisboa, and Videobrasil, among others. Several retrospectives of her work have been held internationally in cinematheques, film festivals, art museums, and nonfiction seminars. She works as an educator at Bard MFA and the École nationale supérieure d’arts de Paris Cergy (ENSAPC).

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