art projects & residency

About US

Members and collaborators of UNPACK STUDIO in Toronto and Havana

Alexandra Majerus

Director | Manager

Alexandra Majerus (aka Alex, aka Sandy) is a multidisciplinary artist who works primarily in photography, video performance and installation. With a half-Caribbean background and repeated migrations between Barbados and Canada, and five years in France as an au-pair/waitress/office-worker, she has had to adapt to different languages and cultures - post-colonial Caribbean, European metropolis and Toronto's multicultural city. This brought an awareness of how the institutionalization of cultural practices into norms plays out in people’s lives. Her practice engages with the notion of western culture, its categorizations (and stereotypes), often to examine issues of hybridity, displacement and gender.

Recently graduated from OCAD University in Toronto, her MFA thesis is investigating the culture and history of Caribbean countries and their diasporas within their frameworks of colonialism and forms of neo-colonialism, in particular tourism. Majerus is interested in the dynamics of subjectivity, agency and identity that lie between the constructed perception of Paradise and lived experience.

Majerus has exhibited in Toronto, Barbados, the Bahamas, Trinidad, Grenada, Bulgaria, and Paraguay.


Dannys Montes de Oca Moreda

Curator | Art Contact

Dannys Montes de Oca Moreda is currently the Director of the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center in Havana, Cuba as well as one of curators of the International Biennial of Asunción and the Curitiba Biennial in Brazil. She has organized the Theoretical Events of the Havana Biennials from 2003 through 2016. Dannys has worked as a researcher, curator and art critic and has published on Cuban, Latin American, North American and Spanish art. She has won several prizes, including Prize of Curatorship, I Salon de Arte Cubano Contemporaneo (1995) and Prize of Art Critique of CNAP (1998 and 2001). Dannys Montes de Oca has curated numerous exhibitions, including: El oficio del arte, CDAV, Havana 1995; Comment-peut-on etre cubain?, Maison de L'Amerique Latine, Paris (1998); Doble Seducción, Sala Amadis, Madrid(2003), Contactos y mediaciones. Poéticas digitales en Cuba, Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina, Canada, 2005, Torbellino I y II. Santiago de Cuba y La Habana, 2010-2011, Open Score. La Habana, 2012, Entre, Dentro, Fuera/Between, Inside, Outside. Asunción, Paraguay and the Sasó Sapukai, First International Asunción Biennial. Asunción, Paraguay 2013, among others. She is co-author of Memoria: Cuban art of the 20th Century, California International Art Foundation, Los Angeles, CA, 2002, Mariano Rodríguez. Escandón Impresores, Sevilla 2003, Labores Domésticas. Género, Raza y Grupos Sociales en Cuba, UNION. La Habana, 2004, José A. Figueroa: un autorretrato cubano. TURNER, Madrid, 2009, amongst other books on Cuban art.



Omar Estrada

Curator

Omar Estrada is a Cuban visual artist who works with interdisciplinary installation, sound, video, interactivity, and narrative text. His artwork explores the tensions between art, science, technology and history in the context of social structures by questioning the validity of political, cultural and scientific approaches as absolutes.

Since 1983, Estradahas had solo shows in Cuba, the Caribbean, both South and North America and has participated in group exhibitions in Peru, Paraguay, France, Spain, Korea, Canada, Cuba and the USA including the 12th International Havana Biennial (Cuba 2015), the 1st International Asuncion Biennial (Paraguay 2015), the 1st Caribbean Triennial in Santo Domingo, (Dominican Republic 2010) and the International Biennale of Art Absolute LA (USA 2003).

Estrada received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of the Arts (ISA) in Havana, Cuba. He has taught at both the bachelor and master degree level for more than 20 years and has been a curator at Unpack Studio Platform and Art Residency since 2013. He lives and works between Havana and Toronto.



Laura Elena Rodríguez Balbuzano

Daily Coordinator

Laura Elena Rodríguez BalbuzanoLaura Rodríguez obtained her Bachelor of Journalism from the Faculty of Journalism and Communications at the University of Havana in 2015.

Although her area of expertise is literary circulation, she is also professionally experienced in editing, press managing and cultural news writing. She has worked as a reporter for several media, among which the latest have been Tribuna de La Habana journal, Bohemia Magazine and the Educational TV channel.

Laura Elena is currently an intern for public relations at the Wilfredo Lam Center for Contemporary Arts and coordinates Unpack Studio's art residency program in Havana.



Ossain Raggi

Team Member

Ossain Raggi GonzálezOssain Raggi is a Havana-based visual artist whose main format of choice is photography although, from a general perspective, his work is characterized by the unprejudiced use of diverse means and formal resources. He is part of several private and institutional collections in Cuba and abroad and has also been awarded the 2017 Wallis Annenberg Fellowship.

Parallel to his occupation in the arts, he also leads a successful career in academia, working both as Head of the Photography Department in the University of Arts (ISA) since its creation in 2009, and as Vice-Dean of its Visual Arts Faculty, position he has been filling since 2016 for the second time, first one being from 2006 to 2008.

Raggi is a Master of Fine Arts. During his Bachelor he majored in printmaking and is also an experienced restorer, having worked as such for 9 years in the National Museum of Fine Arts, in the field of easel painting conservation.



Omar Alberto Estrada

Translator | Press Coordinator

Omar Alberto has a Bachelor of Journalism from the Faculty of Journalism and Communication at the University of Havana.
He specializes in visual arts news writing and has worked as a reporter in cultural topics and editor for the Cuban News Agency, the Educational TV channel, Radio Habana Cuba and Bohemia Magazine, specially during the 12th International Havana Biennial.

Omar Alberto currently works as a press coordinator and translator in Toronto, Canada for the Unpack Studio's art residency program.