Oct 1, 2016 – July 31, 2017 (withdrew as of May 1, 2017)
A Canadian film-maker Rob Santaguida’s videos ”Miraslava” and ”Goran” have screened in over 200 international festivals, including CPH: DOX, Denmark; Videobrasil, Brazil; Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival, Germany; and Transmediale, Germany. Rob has served as the artist-in-residence at museums and artist-run centres in the United States, Croatia, Romania, Germany, Norway, Greece, Serbia, and Australia. Rob is the recipient of the K.M. Hunter Artist Award and a fellowship from the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Germany.
On-hiatus Proposal Summary
Rob has been meaning to go on hiatus for several years now, but every year, a new event or project emerges, and he finds himself making work while missing the original impulse that moved him in the past. Later this year he will finally go on hiatus, with the hopes of replacing cynicism with youthful vigour, and finding new motivation for when he returns to his practice in the future.
During his hiatus, he will travel to Istanbul and live in the neighborhood of Balat. He will focus on simple activities, like reading, walking and conversation. He will learn Italian and maybe try out the saxotromba.
"You said it was time for a grand conclusion. When we pick our seats on the train you always find it strange that I don't mind facing backwards. Time spent regretting is wasted time, you say. Who cares about an exchange from twenty years ago when you reacted to your environment like a sand dollar? If I hadn't wasted these hours with my regret I probably would have wasted them in another way. This is time for a soft statement.
I mishear things sometimes. The music was too loud or you slurred your words, and I pretend to understand. I wonder how things would be different if I had apologized until it was clear what you meant. Only you know.
I have never been afraid of endings. Beginnings, on the other hand, terrify me. As I stand knee-deep in this prelude I now know nothing I do is important. The world doesn't need another one of my films. What the world needs is comfort.
It is too hot to sleep, so I sit up with the lights off, trying to stay quiet so not to wake anyone, listening the sound of the waves slapping against the rocks. A few small boats glide by, fishing with spotlights. Behind me my ancestral home, without a head the town spasms in the final moments before it dies. Streets are cut out instead of repaired. Long curls of white paint come off the welcome sign. The locals will think I am insane if I moved back here.
We bobbed on the sea aboard an old yacht. The captain and his daughter handed us drink after drink. I started feeling sick and lay on the deck. The boat bounced off the waves as we headed to the shore in the cool, black air. You covered me with a part of the sail, and it was cozy. I thought you would lean in and see how I was doing from time to time, but your thoughts were elsewhere. I nearly heard your laugh over the sound of the engine and the water. I stayed wrapped up well after I felt better.
I did nothing that I set out to do. I didn't think I would. I was alone more than I expected. Enjoyed it more than I thought I could. I traveled to cold places during the winter and hot places in the summer while I tried to do the reverse. I didn't learn any new languages or how to play an instrument or even spend a day longer than I needed to in Istanbul. The bitter fights, which I hadn't proposed, were my currency. It was a good experience. But I wouldn't do it again. But it was good."
There’s a grey hatchback outside my window. An older model. The car has been parked in the same spot for two straight weeks. Nobody seems to have noticed.
The car was caked in snow for a while, glistened with rain, now it’s dry, dirty streaks on the side, but dry on this cloudy day. There’s nothing visibly wrong with the car, nothing shattered or smashed in, at least on the one side I’ve seen from my living room window.
I don’t care enough to check the other side. I know one morning I will get up and the car will be gone, without announcement or ceremony, and I might not even notice, on to the next worry or minor preoccupation on the eternal list.
Late one night, I find a note slipped under my door. I’ve decided to share it with you:
You need to leave that studio. It sucking the funds and life out of you. But where to go?
I slept. I’m sleeping, in fact, well. I ate my own heart for three days straight. I don’t recommend it.
I reconnected with old friends, and just like that I am going to Georgia. The country, not the state. An old application I had forgotten about. At least, one I was ignoring. But instead of making a video I will translate a book. That will show them.
I can’t find the words anymore. My trouble with regular conversation is growing. I’m worried.
This weekend I go to Croatia. A night in Belgrade before that.
I’m well. Some small problems, but nothing a good haircut and massage can’t solve.