Roberto Santaguida


  • Exhibition
© Roberto Santaguida

Roberto Santaguida lives and works in Toronto, Canada. Since completing his studies in film production at Concordia University, his films and videos have been shown at more than 300 international festivals. He has also taken part in artist residencies in numerous countries such as Iran, Romania, Germany, Norway, and Australia. He is the recipient of the K.M. Hunter Artist Award, the Chalmers Arts Fellowship and a fellowship from Akademie Schloss Solitude in Germany. His artistic work is inspired by the methods of coping, used in human and communities’ activities to ease pain and the anxiety of the mind. He bears witness to hidden forces, and the attempts to ignore and to hide: concealment becomes a form of survival, and revelation, a path to deliverance.

29 October 2021 to 11 December 2021

In its small room, Galerie B-312 presents Bossburg, the new video installation by Roberto Santaguida. With the goal of breaking down preconceived notions surrounding mental health and promoting the recognition that everyone is different, he first wanted to make a documentary by working with a research group of neurodivergent participants. Three of them continued collaborative workshops throughout the process. Together, they explored topics that they felt were important. Without a hierarchy or any required skills or knowledge, they watched old home movies, videos available on the internet, listened to each other's favorite songs, talked about the cosmos, reminisced about their childhoods and vulnerable memories, wrote down ideas, shared food. In a second step, the artist amassed a quantity of video content that the participants transmitted to him about their fields of interest. Taking the form of personal recordings or found videos, Roberto Santaguida made a selection, created a sequence and executed modifications to the images. It is in this step that he thwarts our expectations of what a documentary could be. By relying on states and perceptions, he designs one that is atypical and exposes important points made during the collaborative workshops, such as being comfortable with opacity, making room for things that are unfamiliar, showing suffering and difference, and even making them sparkle. Through triple projection and the development of an immersive soundtrack, the artist presents a poetic work where diversity is experienced through the body and the senses. 

 – Joannie Boulais
[free translation]