Whose house? Aaron’s house

Aaron Zeghers has more than earned his place in Winnipeg’s film community. As an artist working in film, video and photography, Zeghers playfully combines experimental, documentary, narrative and found footage elements to create challenging and personal short films. His newest, Holland, Man., follows his father Don Zeghers as he dissolves his generations-old family farm. 

“Basically, the film is five projectors running at once,” Zeghers explains. “Three reels of 16mm, one of Super 8, one digital, plus live musical accompaniment.” 

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In addition to his own artwork, Zeghers is the co-founder and co-programmer of the Winnipeg Underground Film Festival, as well as a film programmer for the Gimli Film Festival. He’s also used his technical skills as a collaborator with other artists, including working as cinematographer on Curtis L. Wiebe’s 2014 film Of Truth and Magic, and did the film transfer for City of Rivers, the 1964 Winnipeg tourism film that went viral in late 2015. 

Zeghers’ spacious Osborne Village apartment doubles as a workplace for him in more ways than one. It’s an impressive artist’s workshop and he acts as the building’s caretaker in his down time. 

“A good friend and former bandmate of mine was the previous caretaker,” Zeghers says. “I weaseled my way into being next-in-line two and a half years ago. Now there’s lots of stuff here.” 

“That’s why I’ll never leave,” he laughs, half-jokingly, half-desperately. “I’ll be here forever!”

 

1) SPIROGRAPH 

“This is my latest hobby. It’s something I’m working on for a Super 8 animation dealing with numerical mythology. (It’s inspired by) an artist, Christina Battle, who did an installation called The Twelve Devil’s Graveyards Around the World, based on a book of the same name. Basically, it’s this conspiracy theorist from the ’60s who says if you put an icosahedron (a shape with 12 points) inside the Earth, each vertex points perfectly to a mystical place. It’s total bullshit, but it’s interesting.”

 

2) COWBOY COSTUME 

“I definitely didn’t drop this costume into the toilet at Union Sound Hall on Halloween. I swear, that never happened.” 

 

3) SCREENING AREA 

“We have stunning HD-quality for our low-fi, shitty VHS collection.” 

 

4) PLANTS 

“I love me some plants. Maybe that’s the farming background I grew up in.” 

 

5) FRIDGE PHOTOS 

“I love found photography. Make the most of your fridges, not only for keeping your vegetables crisp and your dairy products chilled. It can also be used to display the lost art of yesteryear.” 

 

6) ANTIQUE LAMPS 

“I call these the H.R. Gieger-inspired feng shui lamps. I actually found another pair, but the wiring was ripped out and the bulbs were missing.” 

 

7) WALL OF PHOTOGRAPHY AND LIGHTBOXES 

“This is some of my art. Obviously not these beautiful (lightboxes) here. I really like shooting on 120 film, especially the positive (as opposed to negative) film. That’s the actual positive film in the frames. With the 120 camera, I don’t have to wind an entire frame, I can wind half a frame, overlapping a couple images that are thematically linked.”

Published in Volume 70, Number 14 of The Uniter (January 7, 2016)

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