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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recent comments


I return to

I return to my city of my birth. 
 
Seeing friends now.  We reminiscence, pine, empathize.
 
The talk becomes easier, things slip out even though I thought these things were locked up.  We’re sharing. 

I fall asleep quickly.  I’m startled to wake up the next morning in an unfamiliar place.  The sleep was so enveloping I couldn’t remember dreaming.

 

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There are some good

There are some good mornings, before it started getting cold, with my favourite breakfast, which I sometimes eat for lunch, dinner and snacks too.  I make lists.  Whenever I tidy up the place I come across old ones.  Some things, even on ancient lists, never get accomplished.  I run errands for things that seem to suddenly break.  It’s hard to predict when it’s going to happen, but it always does.  I listen to newly recorded old compositions.  I plan and help out.  Sometimes I look through grimy windows in empty buildings in the afternoon with a friend and give my opinion on how things could be done there.  It’s natural that you hope your advice is taken even in small matters.  Even though it might not be wise.    

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There’s some

There’s some confusion before I leave and on my way to the post office I am handed a few postcards that need to be mailed.  I read them of course.  

One of them went sort of like this:

“Hello all,

An old-fashioned postcard — hope it arrives before Christmas…

I remember the postcards we used to get from nonna so this seems fitting…

Love,

L–“

 

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We are at sea

Without a reason, I head northward.  The train rolls on to the ferry, and we are at sea.  I eat sandwiches and browse the duty-free shop.  The ferry hits a rough patch, and we sway.

As soon as I arrive in my destination city, I decide to take the train for another hour to a neighbouring city.  It’s grey and cold, and I’m underdressed for the weather.  I remember that my friend Shirin studied here.  She had only bad things to say about it.  I suppose with enough time one can grow to hate any place.  But some places are easier than others.

I admire the rows of bicycles.  I remember my own, quickly discarded at the north end of the central station in a cemetery of bicycles, picked clean of their appendages, rust eaten and bent, held in place with heavy locks.  I’m already thinking about the return trip.
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By 8pm

By 8pm, I’m in the air.  They will do their best to make up the time over Hungary.  I’m in no rush. 

I putter around my hotel room.  It’s in a quiet, dimly lit neighbourhood.  I make use of the iron I find in the closet.
 
Rain today.  It has been announced.  I decide to walk into the city anyway.  They tell me it takes 30 minutes.  They are right.
 
Mladen and I eat sweets.  He feels the same way about them.  Later in the rain, the sun setting, we go to a lecture given in a language I won’t understand.  I daydream for two hours.
 
I walk through the park at night, and the city is abandoned.  The headlights don’t count.  I tried not to have any expectations, but I did think I would sleep well.  The all-night elevator quashed any hope of that.

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