Latinx Artist Fellowship
Sofía Gallisá Muriente
Hato Rey, Puerto Rico
As a visual artist, I work mainly with images, using different formats, source material and film development techniques to interrogate visual culture and explore other ways of seeing. My practice is largely intuitive, collaborative, and driven by a desire to learn with and from others, while interrogating historical narratives and the relationship between memory and place. My projects develop through conversations, long periods of research and multiple approaches to documentation and co-creation.
The interconnected island-scale of Puerto Rico reveals unexpected connections and layers of meaning in the process. I depart from a desire to rehearse freedom, in a place where culture has historically been a resistance front against erasure and assimilation to the United States. My work is shaped by my context and community in many other ways. As a queer Puerto Rican woman wielding a camera, art works for me as a mechanism for feeling and thinking at once, while contending with the colonial gaze that has dominated our imagination.
Sofía Gallisá Muriente (she/her) is a visual artist and cultural organizer whose practice resists colonial erasures and claims the freedom of historical agency, proposing mechanisms for remembering and reimagining. Her work deepens the subjectivity of historical narratives and contests dominant visual culture through multiple approaches to documentation. She employs text, image and archive as medium and subject, exploring their poetic and political implications. For Sofía, art-making is a process of learning and unlearning with others to reveal layers of meaning. Her recent films and videos explore the ways climate conditions memory in the tropics, the imperial underpinnings of historical and natural preservation and the accumulation of political and environmental disasters in Puerto Rico.
Sofía has been a fellow of the Smithsonian Institute, Cisneros Institute at MoMA, Puerto Rican Arts Initiative, Annenberg Media Lab and the Flaherty Seminar; and received grants from TEOR/éTica and NALAC. She has also been a resident artist of the Vieques Historical Archive, Alice Yard (Trinidad & Tobago), Museo La Ene (Argentina), FAARA (Uruguay), and Fonderie Darling (Montreal). Her work has been exhibited in Documenta, the Whitney Museum, MoMA, The Getty’s PST: LA/LA, Savvy Contemporary, CCA Glasgow, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico (MAC), and galleries like El Kilómetro and Embajada. From 2014 to 2020, she co-directed the artist-run organization Beta-Local, known for supporting transdisciplinary practices in Puerto Rico through public programs, residencies, publications and grants. In 2022, she was a featured filmmaker of the Flaherty Seminar and curated In Dispersion at VisArts Maryland, featuring image-based works by artists negotiating diasporic experiences throughout the world.