The Recipe: Making Latin-American Art in Canada

© P. Litherland, 2020

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© P. Litherland, 2020

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The Recipe: Making Latin-American Art in Canada

February 1 to March 7, 2020

Saturday, February 1, 2020 at 5 p.m.

Guided tours in French and Spanish
February 21 at 4 p.m. and February 29 at 12:30 p.m.

February 29 at 2 p.m.
With Alena Robin, Diogo Rodrigues de Barros, Eddy Firmin and the curators

Free entry

The Recipe: Making Latin-American Art in Canada brings together six artists and two curators originally from Colombia, Guatemala, Brazil, Venezuela, Salvador, and Cuba. Those artists and curators are living, working and dreaming in Chicoutimi, Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Oakville and Vancouver. They also exist, create and imagine (themselves) across and beyond many territories, from North America to Latin America, sometimes throughout the edge of the planet. Joined together at OBORO, they wonder, with appetite and greed, what mix of “ingredients” is required for an artwork conceived, developed, or imagined on Canadian soil to be perceived as a “Latin-American” work. Therefore, this curatorial experiment aims to examine multiple statements, which go beyond traditional boundaries, on what could be considered “Latin-American art” or a “Latin-American artist” today.

At OBORO, The Recipe offers to see and hear revised/expanded/recomposed or site-specific versions of the works first presented at Sur Gallery (Toronto, 2018), revealing the wide spectrum of influences and references that shape these artists’ imaginaries, beyond their countries of origin or cultural roots. The temporal and geographical distance that separates the works from their first presentation has, moreover, increased the number of references/connections/bifurcations/sources of inspiration that make them (re)live. From sculpture to painting, through relational installations or interactive videos to digital pieces, the works navigate from one medium to another, or weave in between them. With a crystal-clear voice, they speak about cancer survivors, analog technologies, converted objects, capitalist and neoliberal powers, transcultural tactics and urban and identity cartography.

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Paolo Almario

Based in Chicoutimi (Quebec) since 2011, Colombian-born artist Paolo Almario received a degree from the Faculty of Architecture and Design at the University of Los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia). In 2014, he completed a Master's degree in arts at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC). His works have been exhibited in Canada, Colombia, Italy, Belgium and France. In addition to his artistic activity, Paolo is currently a lecturer in UQAC’s “arts et lettres” department, where he has been teaching digital arts since 2014.

Frances Cordero de Bolaños

Frances Cordero de Bolaños is a Salvadorian Canadian visual artist living in Oakville (Ontario). She graduated from the University of Toronto and Sheridan College’s joint Art and Art History Bachelor's Program and is currently completing studies in digital photography. Frances works in various mediums, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and print media. Recent awards include one of three awards for best work at the 9th Annual University of Toronto Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition 2015 for her felt sculpture Invasion II. She participated in an artist-in-residence program at the Pantocrator Gallery in Suzhou, China (2016). Most recently, her work was exhibited in Toronto at the Department of Canadian Heritage, Ontario Regional Office (2019) and Sur Gallery (2018).  

Alexandra Gelis

Alexandra Gelis is a Colombian-Venezuelan media artist, curator and researcher living and working in Toronto. Her studio practice combines new media, installation, and photography with custom-built interactive electronics. Her projects incorporate personal field research as a tool to investigate the ecologies of various landscapes, by examining the traces left by various socio-political interventions. She is currently working towards a PhD in Environmental Studies and has exhibited in North and South America, Europe and Africa. Alexandra Gelis has received prestigious awards and prizes, notably from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council and the Colombian Ministry of Culture.

Romeo Góngora

Romeo Góngora is a visual artist, a professor at UQAM’s École des arts visuels et médiatiques, and a doctoral candidate in arts at Goldsmiths, University of London (UK). Since 2008, he has carried out collective projects in interaction with the social sphere, integrating politics and pedagogy in the practice of performance. A recipient of numerous grants, he has collaborated, among others, with the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (Canada), HISK (Belgium), the Centre of Contemporary Art in Torun (Poland), Makan art space (Jordan) and Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery (Canada). He has held residencies at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten (Amsterdam, 2007-08), Kunstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin, 2009) and Acme (UK, 2016).


Tonel is an artist, critic, and curator who shares his time between Canada and Cuba. He has worked in Cuba, Latin America, Europe, Canada and the United States. His latest solo exhibition Ajústate al tema (Stop Digressing) opened in 2018 at Havana’s National Museum of Fine Arts. His articles and essays have been included in anthologies, catalogues and periodicals in Cuba and elsewhere. He received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for painting and installation art (1995) and a Rockefeller Fellowship in the Humanities with a residency at the University of Texas at Austin (1997). In 2019, he was the “Edward Laroque Tinker” Visiting Professor at Stanford University in California.

Giorgia Volpe

Giorgia Volpe has participated in numerous exhibitions, public interventions and artist residencies. Her work has been exhibited, among others, at the Lyon Biennial – Résonance (France), Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (Canada), EXPRESSION (Canada), São Paulo Museum of Contemporary Art (Brazil), International Design Biennale in Saint-Etienne (France), Centre VU (Canada), Foreman Gallery (Canada), Darling Foundry (Canada), Xiang Xishi Contemporary Art Center (China), and the International Symposium of Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint-Paul (Canada). More recently, she presented her work at Passage Insolite in Philadelphia, Contemporary Textile Art Biennale - Contextile 2018 in Portugal, Klosterfeld Edition in Berlin, International Biennial of Contemporary Textile Art - WTA 2019 in Madrid and Techfest IIT in India. In 2017, she received the Videre award from the Manif de Québec.

Analays Alvarez Hernandez

Analays Alvarez Hernandez is an art historian and independent curator. Her research focuses on contemporary art, with an emphasis on commemorative public art, diasporic and ethnocultural communities, Latino Canadian art, and curating. She has notably received a Bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of Havana, Cuba, and her Doctorate from the Université du Québec à Montréal. Currently, she is Assistant Professor in the Département d’histoire de l’art et d’études cinématographiques at the Université de Montréal. Alongside her academic research and teaching experience, Alvarez Hernandez has organized several exhibitions in Montreal, Havana, and Toronto as an independent curator.

Daymi Coll Padilla

Daymi Coll Padilla is a Toronto-based Cuban-born art historian, independent curator, and co-founder of Havana Streetview Project. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Havana in 2006 and she recently graduated from the Library and Information Technician program at Seneca College. For several years, she held a curatorial position at the Center for the Development of the Visual Arts (Centro de Desarollo para las Artes Visuales – CDAV), one of the most renown and experimental institutional art spaces in Havana. She has curated numerous solo and group shows, given conferences and talks about contemporary Cuban art, and written for various art magazines, catalogues, and books. As an art specialist, she was part of the Curator and Producer team of the 5th Contemporary Cuban Art Fair (Salón de Arte Cubano Contemporáneo) and the 10th Havana Biennial.