TORONTO ART PROJECTS

UNPACK STUDIO is an independent platform for artistic collaboration based in Toronto, Canada. It is aimed at coordinating and curating contemporary art projects.

Our mandate is to provide a context for aesthetic research developed in the cultural, linguistic and political articulations of knowledge, particularly reflecting on the understandings of migration, race, gender and power. We are interested in investigations aimed at exploring the conceptual intersections and points of rupture of these definitions.

We seek to potentiate artworks that reflect on the negotiations that discrete concepts and fields of knowledge are subjected to when extrapolated to other cultural spaces or disciplines, whether through life experience or research. Our objective is to promote the work of artists and curators that question the validity of definitions as absolutes, in light of the trans-disciplinary nature of contemporary thinking.

HAVANA ART RESIDENCY

The UNPACK STUDIO Havana Art Residency program is open to visual artists, curators and researchers. The residency runs from three to seven weeks and comprises of independent workdays, meetings with an internationally recognized Art Contact twice a week and one or more presentations at the prestigious universities of Havana.

The artist can create local-foreign collaborations, interact with contemporary Cuban practitioners and give Cuban art students the opportunity to see diverse practices. Creatives can research, produce new work individually or in collaboration, network with artists, art students, galleries, curators, and explore Havana.

Unpack Studio residency in Cuba is strategically situated in Vedado, a central and popular neighbourhood of Havana, with easy access to all areas of the city (see map). There is walking distance access to food markets, stores, internet wifi spots, jazz bars, swimming pools, art galleries, cinemas and theatres.

* Read more about our residency program in this link

Blogging from Havana

Laura Barron Havana Art Residency

Laura Barron in Havana
Laura Barron in Havana (2016)

I am a photo-based artist. I’ve been working on a long-term project that involves travelling in Latin America. I have participated in numerous artist residency programs while pursuing this project, but my experience at Unpack Studio Havana Art Residency has been my favourite.

I’m Mexican, but I have a long personal history with Cuba. I started visiting Havana in the early 90s and have returned several times since, though mostly as a tourist. I always wanted to return to develop some work related to Havana’s very particular urban landscape. Exploring the city within the context of the Unpack program worked out really well for me. In a very loose, relaxed way, Unpack is a curated residency: I found it very interesting and helpful that the residency’s curator arranged for me to meet other artists whose work was somehow connected to mine. I also had the opportunity to meet other curators and gain new perspectives of my work, as well as some proposals for potential participation in future shows across Latin America.

Overall, what I really treasured about living in Havana as part of Unpack Studio is the opportunity of take distance from the world familiar to me and come into this extremely particular place that is Cuba and experience this other reality.

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Jennifer Ray @UNPACK Havana

Upon my arrival to Havana, it quickly became clear that Cuba is not an easy place to navigate for a foreigner, much less if you don’t speak Spanish. During my stay at Unpack Studio Havana Art Residency  they arranged studio visits with artists’ whose work was relevant to my own, planned excursions outside of the city, and… Read Full Post

Peter Kingstone @UNPACK Havana

My residency in January  2015, was the second time I had been to Havana. The first time I went, I wanted to see the sites, experience the space, and try to understand how to move about the streets. The second time I went I wanted to meet people and start producing artwork. Having the opportunity… Read Full Post