Organized by Giancarlo Montes Santangelo

sowing worlds within the incompossible is an exercise in worldbuilding. The project emulates a queer community space consisting of an exhibition and a series of programs. The exhibition includes artwork by Amarise Carreras, Nelson Morales, and SHAN Wallace, who play with the tension between the everyday and the fantastical. Alongside their artwork, the installation functions as a place to come inside and read, look, gather, dream, learn, and heal.

Throughout February and March, queer practitioners will share their knowledge about plant medicine, somatic healing, community organizing, fabulation and play, and the history of queer community-building during a series of free events and workshops.

sowing worlds within the incompossible is organized by photographer Giancarlo Montes Santangelo and considers the central question: how do queer people imagine and sustain life? The project borrows Tavia Nyong’o’s term of the “incompossible” to describe something that both can and cannot be, something between what we have and what we need, and something to investigate worlds outside of our present order. 

These themes are central to artist-organizer Giancarlo Montes Santangelo’s work as a visual artist and researcher. In his own practice, he builds worlds with photographic archives and investigates the various ways that colonial histories are indexed in these images and how they settle into the present. Queering these images and considering the ways in which we navigate their afterlives is crucial to his practice. For this project, he invites other artists and practitioners to join in and consider the historical and present ways that queer people imagine and build the incompossible.


Languaging the Apocalypse, Unlanguaging the World: Queer and Indigenous Poetics of Destruction and SurvivalWorkshop with Fargo Nissim Tbakhi
Saturday, February 11 at 2:00 pm (in-person)

"Abolition of Policing" — A Critical Theory of Police Power | Book Session with Heal Da Homies
Saturday, February 18 at 1:30 pm (in-person)

How to build a world (one kiki at a time) | Conversation with SHAN Wallace and Emily R. Bock
Thursday, March 2 at 7:00 pm (in-person)

The Orchid Forest: Connecting with our Queer & Trans Ancestors Through Plant Spirit Medicine | Workshop with Star Feliz
Sunday, March 5 at 1:00 pm EST (Zoom)

Queer Life Force: Breathwork + Embodiment Practices | Guided by Mel-Xóchitl
Wednesday, March 8 from 5:30–6:30 pm (in-person)

Destroy the world | Workshop with Black Femme Brunch
Saturday, March 11 at 1:30 pm (in-person)

About the Participating Visual Artists

Nelson Morales is a photographer whose work focuses on issues of gender, body, identity, and sexual diversity. His work has been included in various collective and individual exhibitions in countries such as: Germany, Netherlands, Spain, El Salvador, Canada, Greece,  Portugal, Malaysia, India, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Poland, Cuba, United States, and Mexico. In 2021, he won the PATROCINIOS scholarship award from the Jumex Foundation. Morales’ work has been published in Aperture, The New York Times, Vogue Italia, Vogue México, Vice, Mexicanísimo, TETU, Loeil de la photograpie, The British Journal of Photography, Musée Magazine, and Der Greif and he has published two books: Musas Muxe (2018) and Fantastic Woman (2019). He was recently one of the protagonists of the documentary MUXES, produced by HBO in 2022.

SHAN Wallace is a nomadic award-winning visual artist, photographer, and educator from East Baltimore, MD. She is inspired by the nuances of day-to-day life in Baltimore, not as fixed narratives, but as a multiplicity of experiences. SHAN has received recognition from publications like the Baltimore Beat for ‘Best Solo Show,’ the Washington City Paper for ‘Best Photographer,’ and the Association of Health Care Journalistsfor her photojournalism piece “Losing Conner’s Mind” in the Atavist Magazine. SHAN’s work is in both public and private collections across the United States including Baltimore Museum of Art, Reginald F. Lewis Art Museum, and the New Gallery of Modern Art.

Amarise Carreras is a photo-based performance artist, utilizing photography for both documenting and observing while engaging in performative conversations. The results are images of quotidian moments and narratives about history, ancestry, altars, and still lifes that are alive. The performative aspect is referential directly to a gentle and deeply personal connection to the Boricua women that raised them, and their passed down knowledge, medicine, and traditions. Amarise received their BFA in Photography and Film from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2018. They are currently published in Aperture Magazine, Nueva Luz, and have shown in galleries such as Candela Gallery, Side x Side Contemporary, and Transmitter.

About the Artist-Organizer

Giancarlo Montes Santangelo, native of the DC Metropolitan area, graduated from SUNY Purchase in 2018 with a BFA in photography. In 2019, Giancarlo exhibited his photographs alongside Paul Mpagi Sepuya as part of the Whitney Biennial. In 2020, he published his first monograph, Improvising Sight Lines with Monolith Editions – a book that weaves together images and writing and is held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the MoMA. Giancarlo was recently awarded the Aperture x Google Creator Labs Photo Fund and completed residencies with Tangent Projects and TILT Institute for the Contemporary Image. He is currently an Image Equity Fellow with Google.

About our Program Model

We designed our artist-driven program model because we recognize that artists are increasingly collaborating across boundaries and borders to build community and shape discourse. We are interested in facilitating these collaborations through artist-driven inquiry. Our program model provides artists with the opportunity to expand their practices and experiment without absorbing financial burdens or capacity barriers. We provide resources to create critical connections and long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships that build artistic communities around knowledge-sharing. 


WPA is supported by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; Hickok Cole; National Endowment for the Arts; William S. Paley Foundation; Greater Washington Community Foundation; Goethe-Institut; Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation (EHTF); Eaton Workshop; Terra Foundation for American Art; The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation; JBG SMITH; Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Squire Patton Boggs; Brookfield Properties; DAVIS Construction; and many other generous foundations, corporations, and individuals.


January 21–March 11, 2023


2124 8th St NW

Photo gallery