Reimagining Land from a Distance

Natalia Lassalle-Morillo

June 30, 2022, 6:30pm
Géza, 306 Maujer

Artist-in-residence, Natalia Lassalle-Morillo screens her 4-channel film Foreign in a Domestic Sense, the first in an anthology of film and performance works that investigate how to relate to and reimagine land, history, and mythology from a distance. Conjured together with Sofía Gallisá Muriente, the film is a constellation of testimonies and imaginaries of Puerto Ricans who have migrated to Central Florida in recent years and is a prelude to En Parábola, her current New York-focused project. Foreign in a Domestic Sense evokes, accompanies, and connects the lived experiences of people who are part of the fastest-growing Puerto Rican population in the United States. The film speculates on how community is created through recreation and how cultural hybridity signals to the future.

After the screening, Natalia engages in an open dialogue with curator Ali Rosa-Salas about her efforts to create a new archive of Puerto Rican myths. Together with her current conversation partners, they reflect on how migration has shaped perceptions of memory and history in Puerto Rico and the diaspora, and look at how Natalia’s current method of collective rehearsal and filmmaking processes with collaborators residing on the Puerto Rican archipelago and within the diasporic communities in New York City could help in reimagining decolonization processes beyond political discourse, as transformative processes that include our consciousness, bodies, collective memory, and all that is intangible.

This event is part of For Your Reference a series in which our New York Studio & Research residents present a single reference (whether a film, a word, a historic occurrence, a plant, a concept, a person…) and then take their time to unpack it through conversation with the audience.

Image: The New York and Puerto Rico Steamship Company map (reference image). The company’s ships traveled between San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Pier 35, Atlantic Basin in Red Hook. While most of these ships took vacationers to Puerto Rico, their lasting effect was transporting Puerto Rican migrants to Red Hook in Brooklyn, where they established a community near the docks at Atlantic Basin.

About the speakers

Ali Rosa-Salas is a curator whose approach is rooted in the belief that curatorial practice must serve the public good. She finds inspiration from cultural ecosystems of Lenapehoking (currently called New York City), where she was proudly born and raised. Ali is the Artistic Director at Abrons Arts Center/Henry Street Settlement, where she curates the Center’s performance and exhibition programming, as well as supports the Center’s residency programs. In addition to her role at Abrons, Ali is the Associate Curator of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. She also is the co-curator Nuyorican Mag, a digital archive that celebrates the cultural, social, political contributions of New Yorkers of Puerto Rican descent.