San Francisco DocFest 2021

Program 2: I Like to Watch plus Q&A

Expired June 21, 2021 6:59 AM
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Program 2: I Like to Watch - Mediations on Meditations through the strange and the beautiful visual arts.

Recently returning to New York City after several years of living in Sweden, artist and storyteller Bryan Zanisnik comically chronicles the highs and lows of life as a contemporary artist, discovering a love for mushroom foraging and the pleasures of inner stillness along the way. After more than ten years in New York, the artist is both exhilarated and exhausted—exhilarated by the high visibility exhibition opportunities, but ultimately exhausted by the chronic under-funding and his own labor-intensive process. Describing his mix of photography, sculpture, and performance, Zanisnik explains “I would do projects where I would collect thousands of objects, I would arrange them, photograph them, move them, [and] build an installation.” But the process was bringing diminishing personal returns, prompting the artist to ask, “Do we make our lives more difficult than they have to be?” The solution? Zanisnik pivots and moves to Sweden—spurred on by his partner’s new job there—dreaming of universal health care and government artist support. But the artist soon discovers that Sweden is not quite the promised land he expected and learns that the road to personal and professional fulfillment is not always a straight one. Mirroring Zanisnik’s own tragic-comic style with a playful use of sound effects and archival footage, this documentary portrait is a universal story of one person’s quest for financial stability, creative joy, and the best in Swedish pastry.

  • Runtime
    7 minutes
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Nick Ravich