First Fifth

Roberto Santaguida, First Fifth, 2020

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Roberto Santaguida, First Fifth, 2020

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First Fifth


Originally planned for the fall of 2020, this activity has been postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


It is slow our collection of things for this business of living. In the first days, our eyes are fused to the brain. Below eyelids, sealed shut, the beginnings of the iris and retina swim in an inky goop.  Our vocal chords and tongue take shape. We cry out, but without air, we do not make a sound. Our skin is translucent; we have not yet learnt to shiver. Tiny air sacks form into lungs. When we try to breathe, we only swallow mouthfuls of amniotic fluid. A few weeks before our arrival, we dream, and, for the first time, we imagine another world.

First Fifth is a fifteen-channel video installation that aims to tell the story of human life through home videos, found footage and abstract film. The series places different events from the artist's early years in conversation with moments of History, providing a narrative that builds, destroys, then builds again the obsessive gallery of details, which for convenience's sake, we call memory.

This exhibition is jointly presented by OBORO and Vidéographe as part of LUX - Résidence de création et de diffusion, an initiative of Main Film, OBORO, PRIM and Vidéographe with the support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.

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Roberto Santaguida

Since completing his studies in film production at Concordia University, Roberto Santaguida’s films and videos have been shown at more than 300 international festivals.  He has also taken part in artist residencies in numerous countries, including Iran, Romania, Germany, Norway, and Australia. Roberto is the recipient of the K.M. Hunter Artist Award, the Chalmers Arts Fellowship and a fellowship from Akademie Schloss Solitude in Germany.