VisArts Presents In Dispersion

By Editorial Team on August 29, 2022

Fri, 02 September 2022 - Sun, 23 October 2022

Génesis Báez, Threshold, 2021
Opening Reception: Friday, September 9 from 7pm to 9pm

VisArts is pleased to present In Dispersion, a new exhibition curated by VisArts Mentoring Curator Sofía Gallisá Muriente. The exhibition of works by Puerto Rican artists opens September 2 and will be on view in our Kaplan Gallery through October 23. An opening reception featuring a performance by DJ Joe Falero will be held Friday, September 9 from 7-9 p.m.

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: Génesis Báez, Emilia Beatriz, Javier Bosques, Sofía Córdova, Alia Farid, Melissa Raymond & René Sandín, Jezabeth Roca González, and Guillermo Rodríguez

About the Curator

Sofía Gallisá Muriente is a Puerto Rican visual artist whose work resists colonial erasures and claims the freedom of historical agency, proposing mechanisms for remembering and reimagining. Through multiple approaches to documentation and a collaborative research-based practice, she deepens the subjectivity of historical narratives and contests dominant visual culture.

Her pieces employ text, image, and archive as medium and subject, exploring their poetic and political implications.

Sofía has been a fellow of the Smithsonian Institute and the Flaherty Seminar, and participated in residencies such as Alice Yard (Trinidad & Tobago), FAARA (Uruguay), and Fonderie Darling (Montreal). She has exhibited in the Whitney Biennial, the Queens Museum, ifa Galerie in Berlin, CCA Glasgow, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico, and galleries like Km 0.2, El Lobi 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.

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About VisArts

VisArts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is a hub for the visual arts that engages nearly 30,000 visitors annually through contemporary art exhibitions, a studio artist program, art classes and camps, VisAbility Art Lab (a supported studio for artists with disabilities), community art programs, the annual Rockville Arts Festival, and event space. Founded in 1987, VisArts is committed to our mission of transforming individuals and communities through the visual arts.

VisArts is in Rockville Town Square, three blocks from the Rockville Metro station, at 155 Gibbs Street, Rockville, Md. Galleries are open Wednesday-Thursday/Saturday-Sunday, 12-4 p.m. and Friday, 12-8 p.m. Exhibitions are free and open to the public. Visit or call 301.315.8200 for more information.