Sites of Rehearsal

Natalia Lassalle-Morillo

March 16, 2024, 3-6pm
Géza, 306 Maujer
Special Screening at 3pm
Artist Talk at 4:30pm
On the occasion of Natalia Lassalle-Morillo exhibition En Parábola/Conversations on Tragedy, Part I, Amant invites visitors to a walk-through, screening, and conversation. This film and theater commission reimagines the tragedy of Antigone with a cast of Puerto Ricans based in Puerto Rico and its New York City diaspora, this first chapter of En Parábola is a work of collaboration between Natalia and New York-based collaborators, who are co-writers and performers of this film. This event will offer visitors a glimpse into the process with which it is created.

After a special screening of En Parábola, Natalia and the New York-based cast, Emma Suárez Báez, Raquel Aurelia Rodríguez, Erica Ballester and Nina Lucia Rodriguez, will be joined by Natalia Viera Salgado, the Associate Curator at the National Academy of Design. Together, they will discuss the collaborative process of re-assembling the myth of Antigone and how it intersects with their personal histories of migration.

This event is held in conjunction with Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College and is free and open to the public. RSVP is recommended and drop-ins welcome.

Image: Natalia Lassalle-Morillo, En Parábola/Conversations on Tragedy, Part I (video still), 2024. Courtesy of the artist and Amant.

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 Foundation (NY), MassMoca (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.

Emma Suárez Báez left Puerto Rico at seventeen. Writing has been the thread that allowed her to stitch together the loss of territorial, cultural, linguistic, and relational continuity to the complex and confusing experiences that leaving your country brings. She was born to a feminist without a tag and a man who walked to school without shoes. Her work appears in Where Beach Meets Ocean, Off The Coast, 3 Nations Anthology, the Bronx Memoir Project, NYPL Zine Project, What Have You Lost?, Love Letters to Gaia, La Libreta, What They Leave Behind, Community Unity and other journals and publications. She presented “Tampons” at The Moth in the Bronx and “What is Enough?” at City Winery with Read 650/Writers Read. Emma Suárez Báez holds a master’s degree in Bilingual Education and worked with children and teachers in the Bronx public schools.

Raquel Aurelia Rodríguez is a Nuyorican product strategy consultant, movement researcher, and semi-professional hype woman. In 2024 she relocated to Puerto Rico in an experimental process of reverse migration. Her professional interests include somatic practice in postcolonial self-actualization, and business impact measurement beyond financial metrics.

Erica Ballester is a teacher and poet. She grew up between Ridgewood, Queens, and Sábana Grande, Puerto Rico. She is an English as a New Language teacher in New York City Public Schools, and she has performed her poetry in venues like the NuyoRican Poets Cafe and the Poet’s Passage in San Juan. Currently based in Westchester, New York, she is working on publishing a collection of her poetry.

Nina Lucia Rodriguez is a multidisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Some of the forms in which she works include performing, screenwriting, poetry, directing, and devising. Nina is a Western Mass Puerto Rican™️ and enjoys both leaf peeping and roasting an entire pig on a spit. She has aided in developing new work with theaters across the northeast, such as the Williamstown Theater Festival, Playwright’s Horizons, and Hartford Stage. She’s a co-writer of the web series, Gro Up, for which she also directed the pilot episode. The pilot for Gro Up was shown at the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora, and the Pan African Film Festival, and the Martha’s Vineyard Virtual Film Festival. Nina has a Bachelor of Arts in acting and a minor in comedy from Emerson College. Although she did complete her degree, she considers herself a “clown school dropout.” Nina is dedicated to taking risks, collaborating with other artists, and engaging with the communities that surround their art.

Natalia Viera Salgado is a Puerto Rican curator and curatorial consultant based in New York City. She is also the founder of :Pública Espacio Cultural, an independent art space in Alto del Cabro, Santurce Puerto Rico. Her art historical research focuses on contemporary art in relation to decolonial practices, architecture, social and environmental justice, and new media with a keen interest in hybrid and interdisciplinary projects. She has worked at the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, El Museo del Barrio, Art in General, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the Americas Society. Natalia holds an MA in Curatorial Practice from the School of Visual Arts, New York, and is currently the Associate Curator at the National Academy of Design and a curatorial resident at the Abrons Arts Center.