On The Road

On The Road


*Project cancelled for lack of temporary Canadian visa*

See substitute project produced in Cuba in the Fall 2016: Indian Summer Diary: I love Canada, Canada, love me!

From Cuba to Canada and the USA

Artist residency - Summer/Fall 2016: Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara

Curated by: Catherine Sicot

In partnership with:

  • Onsite Gallery (OCAD University, Toronto, Canada)

With the participation of:

  • Plug In Contemporary art centre (Winnipeg, Canada)
  • Columbia College (Chicago, USA)
  • Dept. of Art, University at Buffalo (Buffalo, USA)
  • Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Centre (Buffalo, USA)
  • Wanda Nanibush (curator)
  • Nicholas Quiring (architect)
  • Thank you to Michael and Amira Dan for their multi-layered support to the project

An experimental framework for an emerging Cuban artist in residence

On the Road offers an experimental model of an artist residency tailored to respond to the needs of an emerging Cuban artist – Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara - coming for his first experience in Canada and the United States. For this residence, artist and curator - Catherine Sicot - will travel throughout a portion of North America on both the Canadian and American sides of the Great Lakes. This journey will be punctuated by:

  • Meeting curators, architects, artists and locals;
  • Taking part in conversations, studio visits and networking meetings in diverse arts institutions and universities;
  • Leading research including two up-coming art projects described below;
  • Keeping an ongoing travel log: Mimi Joh-Carnella, Cultural Advocate, and Lisa Deanne Smith will pilot an OCAD/Onsite website platform for On the Road, providing tools and support to an online travel log throughout the residency.

Designed in consideration with the artist’s practice focused on politics, society and human rights, the residency will explore the layers of history and politics that resulted in the actual borders in North America and the current state of life within and amongst nations on both sides. It will also facilitate encounters with artists and curators that share these interests.

While On the Road evokes Jack Kerouac’s mythical initiatory American Beat journey, Anishinaabe artist Bonnie Devine’s work Battle for the Woodlands[1] has also inspired this project and its itinerary. Devine’s installation, at the Art Gallery of Ontario (2014), expanded an early 19th century map of Upper and Lower Canada, claiming the Great Lakes as an integral part of the Anishinaabe land and culture. This work serves as a second historical and contemporary land mark to On the Road.

Collaborations / Itinerary:

Winnipeg (Manitoba): Luis and Catherine will conduct site visits and participate in a 2-day workshop at the Plug-In Summer Institute lead by First Nations artist Duane Linklater and curator Jaimie Issac as part of their project Wood Land School: Thunderbird Woman.
Christian Island, Georgian Bay (Ontario): Curator Wanda Nanibush will host a visit at Beausoleil First Nation reserve and of the surrounding area: the Huronia.
Montréal(Québec): Curator Wanda Nanibush will organize a studio visit with artist Rebecca Belmore (Anishinaabe-Canadian) and Osvald Yero (Cuban). Luis Manuel and Catherine will conduct other studio and site visits.
Detroit (Michigan): Independent architect Nicholas Quiring will host site and studio visits and meetings with activists, architects and artists. Curator Lisa Deanne Smith, Onsite Gallery (OCAD U) will participate in the Detroit visit.

Traverse City (Michigan): Visit of the farming area with independent architect Nicholas Quiring and encounter with a Mexican community of seasonal migrant workers, local activists and social workers. Artist and professor Min Sook Lee (OCAD U) will take part in the Traverse City visit.
Toronto (Ontario): Onsite Gallery/Ontario College of Art & Design University (OCAD U): Curator Lisa Deanne Smith, in collaboration with artists/professors Johanna Householder and Min Sook Lee, will host a 2-week residency including an artist and curator public talk, performance/installation, site visits, conversations with students and professors, studio visits and networking meetings.

Buffalo (Upstate New York): Artist/professor Millie Chen from the Dept. of Art, University at Buffalo in collaboration with the Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Centre will organize a 1-week residency including a public talk and performance, site visits, conversations, studio visits and networking meetings.
Chicago (Illinois): Artist/professor Matt Rappaport (Columbia College) will host a 8 to 15 day visit in Chicago including site visits, conversations, studio visits and networking meetings at Columbia College. Art writer/professor (School of the Art Institute) Rachel Weiss will also host Luis Manuel and Catherine in her residence near Chicago.