Rob Santaguida, Canada

Residency Period: Oct 1, 2016 – July 31, 2017 (withdrew as of May 1, 2017)


Bio

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.


Final Report

"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."


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From RFAOH Co-directors

As announced in his last, April 21st report (in a Rob way (; ) Rob Santaguida has decided to leave his 10 month residency three months early, as  “…the little green man appeared and urged him forward”, to resume his art practice. We thank Rob for his participation in RFAOH despite slightly complex circumstances initially and negotiations, and for sending us his on-hiatus reports that always made us think of a blurry line between being an artist and being inevitably artistic no matter what one does.  RFAOH sincerely wishes him the best of luck for his post hiatus life wherever he is — we still do not know!

Click “Final Report” to read his poem or his RFAOH final report.

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