Natalia Lassalle-Morillo
En Parábola/ Conversations
on Tragedy
Part I

Co-devised and co-authored in collaboration with:

Erica Ballester
Nina Lucía Rodríguez
Raquel Rodríguez
Emma Suárez-Báez

Screening Time
12pm, 1:03pm, 2:06pm, 3:09pm, 4:12pm, 5:15pm

Natalia Lassalle-Morillo’s practice develops across localities and narratives, merging theatrical performance, experimental film, and participatory research. Bringing theater-based methodologies into the camera, she rehearses an alternative historiography that revises collective relationships to the past and simultaneously foregrounds the creation of new mythologies and fictions. In En Parábola/Conversations on Tragedy, Natalia reassembles the Greek myth Antigone in collaboration with a cast of non-professional actors who reside in Puerto Rico and in New York City’s Puerto Rican diasporic community. Developed through a multi-year process of collaborative theatrical rehearsal and experimental filmmaking, the work emerged through the cast’s revising, re-writing, and performing of the myth of Antigone inspired by their lived and inherited experiences of migration and belonging.

Taking the form of a multichannel film installation and a live performance series, En Parábola seeks to connect these communities after decades of geographical fragmentation, colonial erasure, dispossession, and cumulative environmental, economic, and political tragedies. This exhibition presents the first chapter of En Parábola, a multichannel film that chronicles the New York City–based cast’s reimagining of the myth of Antigone from their own perspectives. Commissioned after an Artist Research Residency at Amant in 2022, the film weaves together fictional and non-fictional narratives, layering documentation of the rehearsal process with behind-the-scenes footage and staged reenactments co-authored and performed by the cast.

Inspired by the original discourse of dramatic tragedy as a forum for communal catharsis, Parts I and II of En Parábola use theater and rehearsal as a platform through which to bring two casts—one based in New York City, the other in Puerto Rico—together. Natalia and her collaborators deconstruct the Greek dramatic structure, using it as a creative device to explore the complexities of the Puerto Rican diasporic experience and the interconnected challenges faced by diverse migratory journeys. Together, they imagine a future for the play’s mythological characters wherein they survive the tragedy—a future that aligns with a Puerto Rican post-disaster imaginary in which new definitions of sovereignty and freedom are possible.

Through participatory efforts to reshape collective memory, En Parábola proposes theatrical rehearsal as a site of speculation and reunion, where Puerto Ricans can revise, unlearn, experiment, and build narratives, woven from their lived experiences. Re-envisioning sovereignty as an affective citizenship that exists beyond geographical boundaries, this project is fundamentally an invitation to exercise our right to imagination and the potentialities of fantasy and fiction.

En Parábola is part of Rituals of Speaking, a film-led series exploring how artists represent the voices of others through collective storytelling. All programs are presented and commissioned by Amant with additional support from a Mellon Foundation fellowship granted by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, in collaboration with Princeton University. With additional curatorial guidance from Natalia Viera Salgado.

Images: Natalia Lassalle-Morillo, En Parábola/Conversations on Tragedy, Part I, 2024. Courtesy of the artist and Amant.


About the Artist

Natalia Lassalle-Morillo is a visual artist, filmmaker, theater maker, and educator whose work reconstructs history through a transdisciplinary approach. Merging theatrical performance, experimental film, and installation, Lassalle-Morillo’s work excavates history both imagined and documented, and decentralizes canonical narratives and the primacy of written history through re-enactments, revision, and collaborative re-scripting. Collaborating with non-actors and amateur writers, her multi-platform projects develop across localities and narratives, exploring Caribbean collective memory and the material and spiritual trajectories that have shaped human relationships impacted by the imperialist oppression in that region. Bringing theatrical practices into the camera, she rehearses an alternative historiography that reassembles our relationship to our past, and simultaneously foregrounds the creation of new mythologies.

Natalia has been a fellow at the Smithsonian, and she has participated in residencies with Amant (NY), MASS MoCA (MA), Fonderie Darling (Montréal), Pioneer Works (NY), among others. Her work is part of the KADIST collection, and it has been exhibited in at the 22a VideoBrasil Biennale, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (Puerto Rico), Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (Canary Islands, Spain), and the Walt Disney Modular Theater (Los Angeles). Upcoming presentations include solo exhibitions at Dazibao (Montréal), and the 2024 Cooper Hewitt Triennial. She is a 2023 Mellon Foundation Bridging the Divides Fellow.

Natalia was born in Puerto Rico, where she is currently based.

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Rituals of Speaking is a film-led series that explores how artists represent the voices of others through collective storytelling.
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