Sofía Gallisá Muriente and Natalia Lassalle Morillo

Puerto Rico
Film/Video/New Media
Artist in Residence, 2024,

Artist Statement

Sofía Gallisá Muriente-

My artistic practice subverts historical narratives, offering strategies for collectively revising the past and rehearsing alternative futures. In the face of cumulative tragedy and centuries of historical erasure, I reject the primacy of dominant narratives in history, proposing instead sites of experimentation, rehearsal and collaborative intimacy, where Puerto Ricans can revise history collectively, developing counter-mythologies woven from our lived experiences and imaginations. My works take the form of multi-channel films, live performances, installations, and site-specific projects. These emerge out of kinship bonds–familial fibers that develop over long periods of conversation, creative exchange and community-building across different geographies. In my performance works and installations, I create spaces for the moving image to be experienced from within, bringing into the space that which exists beyond the cinematic frame, and producing a visceral experience of viewership akin to that of theater, where each presentation becomes ephemeral and unrepeatable.

Natalia Lassalle Morillo-

My art practice is grounded in a desire to unpack colonial legacies and claim historical agency, rooted in a place where culture has long been a resistance front against colonial erasure and assimilation to the United States. It is shaped by my context in many other ways, especially by how the interconnectedness of islands facilitates connections and allows for the sedimentation of ideas and layers of meaning.

I make art as a way of learning and unlearning with others; developing work through long periods of research and conversations. I refuse traditional hierarchical structures of filmmaking in favor of collaboration and intuitive improvisation, a practice based on trust and care. My works deepens the subjectivity of historical narratives through multiple approaches to documentation, employing text, image and archive as medium and subject, and exploring their poetic and political implications.

While at Headlands

While at Headlands, we will be editing a series of new film and video works based on our shared research at the Smithsonian Institute, as part of a commission for the 2024 Cooper Hewitt Triennial. Our project investigates two important Puerto Rican collections housed at the Smithsonian: the Teodoro Vidal collections donated to the National Museum of American History in the 1990’s and the Caribbean Indigenous collections extracted by the archeologist Jesse Walter Fewkes right after the US invasion of Puerto Rico in 1898. We are interested in looking at the history of these collections in relation to a new ethical returns policy approved by the Smithsonian, and consider the ways in which our work as artists can propose methods of restitution, return and repair of the connections between the objects, their histories and the land from which they were taken.