In Dispersion

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Kaplan Gallery

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In Dispersion

Curated by Sofía Gallisá Muriente, VisArts’ 2022 Mentoring Curator

September 2 – October 23

Kaplan Gallery

Photography is a form that defies time, and image producers are the tricksters who intercept and shape light, as it travels, in a nearly imperceptible journey.

In physics, the spreading of white light into its wavelengths is called dispersion; making visible a spectrum of colors as they travel in different directions. Any type of wave can exhibit dispersion and separate into its component frequencies, including sound waves, water waves and electromagnetic waves. Dispersion makes evident the limits of the human sensorial experience. It acts as a reminder of everything that surrounds us and constitutes our world but we can’t sense.

Dispersion can also divulge what the wave has encountered that disperses its wavelengths. The dispersion of electromagnetic waves from outer space, for example, has revealed what exists between the stars. Similarly, the dispersion of people throughout the world, through forced or consented displacement, exposes what exists between them and their place of origin. Their expressions don’t always reveal the causes for their dispersion, but they show the real and imagined dimensions of that divide.

The artists in this exhibition propose strategies for negotiating the distance between themselves and the places and people they yearn for. All of them have roots in Puerto Rico but most live outside of the archipelago, scattered around the world like water and light. They call out to each other through images and metaphors, conjugating in different ways their relationship to territories and temporalities. Their works examine histories of displacement and dispersion; taking stock of who is left and what remains, contending with what was and what is, where they are and where they wish they could return.

Artists include: Génesis Báez, Emilia Beatriz, Javier Bosques, Sofía Córdova, Alia Farid, Jezabeth Roca González, Guillermo Rodríguez, René Sandín y Melisa Raymond

About the the VisArts 2022 Mentoring Curator:

Sofía Gallisá Muriente is a Puerto Rican visual artist whose work resists colonial forces of erasure and claims the freedom of historical agency, generating mechanisms for remembering and reimagining. Through multiple approaches to documentation, she deepens the subjectivity of historical narratives and critically examines the production of images. Her pieces employ text, image and archive as medium and subject, exploring their poetic and political implications. Sofía has been a resident artist of Museo La Ene (Argentina), Alice Yard (Trinidad & Tobago), Solar (Canary Islands), FAARA (Uruguay) and Fonderie Darling (Montreal), as well as a fellow of the Flaherty Seminar and the Smithsonian Institute. Her work has been exhibited in the Whitney Biennial, the Queens Museum, ifa Galerie in Berlin, CCA Glasgow and Puerto Rican galleries like Km 0.2 and Embajada. From 2014 to 2020, she codirected the artist-run, non-profit organization Beta-Local, fostering knowledge exchange and transdisciplinary practices in Puerto Rico. She is currently a fellow of the Puerto Rican Arts Initiative and the Annenberg Innovation Lab at USC.

En la dispersión

La fotografía desafía el tiempo, y les productores de imágenes son ilusionistas que interceptan la luz y le dan forma mientras viaja, a penas perceptible. 

En la física, se le llama “dispersión” a la difusión de la luz blanca en sus diferentes longitudes de onda, lo cual deja ver un espectro de colores que viajan en direcciones distintas. Cualquier tipo de onda puede dispersarse – incluyendo las ondas de sonido, las ondas de agua y las ondas electromagnéticas. La dispersión pone en evidencia los límites sensoriales de la experiencia humana. Nos recuerda todo aquello que, aunque nos rodea y constituye nuestro mundo, no podemos percibir. 

 La dispersión también puede revelar aquello que, al entrar en contacto con una onda, ha causado la dispersión de la misma. Por ejemplo, la dispersión de ondas electromagnéticas en el espacio sideral ha revelado lo que existe entre las estrellas. La dispersión de personas alrededor del mundo – ya sea por desplazamientos forzosos o voluntarios – también expone lo que existe entre esas personas y sus lugares de origen. Sus expresiones no siempre revelan las causas de su dispersión, pero dejan ver el entramado real e imaginario de esa separación. 

 Les artistas en esta exhibición proponen estrategias para negociar la distancia entre sí mismes y los lugares y personas que añoran. Todes tienen raíces en Puerto Rico, pero la mayoría vive fuera del archipiélago, desperdigades por el mundo como el agua y la luz. Se mandan señales por medio de imágenes y metáforas, y conjugan de distintas formas sus relaciones con territorios y temporalidades. Sus piezas interrogan historias de desplazamientos y dispersiones, examinan quién se queda atrás y qué es lo que permanece, lidiando con lo que fue y con lo que es, con dónde están situades y a dónde desearían regresar. 

 Con trabajos de Génesis Báez, Emilia Beatriz, Javier Bosques, Sofía Córdova, Alia Farid, Jezabeth Roca González, Guillermo Rodríguez, René Sandín y Melisa Raymond

Image Credit: Génesis Báez, Threshold, 2021

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