Open Secret, with Sofía Gallisá Muriente at Agnes Etherington Art Centre

Portrait of Sofía Gallisá Muriente. Photo: Alberto Santiago

This series takes its departure from Fred Moten’s words that “poetry investigates new ways for people to get together and do stuff in the open, in secret.” Similarly, cinema’s capacity to condition spaces for gathering, and the double maneuver of opacity and transparency inherent in its making sets the precedent for this sort of investigation embedded in collaboration. These works present a way to renegotiate what forms around the binaries of outside and inside, of what we know and what we don’t need to know, of expanse and enclosure. The four artists invite us to think alongside them about the effects of subtle transformations, the eroticism of language and translation, dispersion and collectivity, and the architecture of permeability and impermanence. All through what might inspire new formations of the diasporic image.

This series offers an opportunity to showcase each artist’s work in an intimate setting, with conversations to follow the screening. As well, each artist facilitates a workshop the next day for students. This is a chance to think with them on process, practice and form and on how to build a foundational framework for collaboration to take place.

Curated by Nasrin Himada

Screening + Conversation
Wednesday, 5 April, 6–8 pm
The Screening Room, 120 Princess St, Kingston, ON


Celaje (2020) oscillates between intimate chronicle, dream and historical document. Combining images in Super 8 and 16mm, hand development techniques and original music by José Iván Lebrón Moreira, the piece weaves together an elegy to the death of the commonwealth project of Puerto Rico and the catastrophic times we survive. It is the third and final part of Assimilate & Destroy, a series of works that examine the relationship between climate and memory in the tropics, where nature imposes impermanence.

The Envoy “explores the legacy of colonialism with contemplative nuance, through lingering shots of the one-time home of Rexford Tugwell, an American economist who was appointed the governor of Puerto Rico by F.D.R., in 1941. The elegant, modernist residence is now listed on Airbnb.” (The New Yorker)

Sofía Gallisá Muriente, Manos Playa, still. Courtesy of the artist

Sofía Gallisá Muriente is an artist whose research-based 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.

Sofía has been a fellow of the Smithsonian Institute, Annenberg Media Lab at USC and the Flaherty Seminar, and participated in residencies such as Alice Yard (Trinidad & Tobago), FAARA (Uruguay) and Fonderie Darling (Montreal). She has exhibited in Documenta Fifteen, the Whitney Museum, the Queens Museum, ifa Galerie and Savvy Contemporary in Berlin, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico, and galleries like Km 0.2 and Embajada. From 2014 to 2020, she co-directed the artist-run organization Beta-Local, dedicated to fostering knowledge exchange and transdisciplinary practices. She is currently a fellow of the Puerto Rican Arts Initiative and the Cisneros Institute at MoMA.