Ben Rivers

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Ben Rivers (born in 1972) is an experimental filmmaker and artist based in London. His work has been shown in many film festivals[1] and galleries around the world and has won numerous awards. His work ranges from themes about exploring unknown wilderness territories to candid and intimate portrayals of real-life subjects.

Life and career[edit]

Rivers's practice as a filmmaker treads a line between documentary and fiction. Often following and filming people who have in some way separated themselves from society, the raw film footage provides Rivers with a starting point for creating oblique narratives imagining alternative existences in marginal worlds. Rivers uses near-antique cameras and hand develops the 16mm film, which shows all the evidence of the elements it has been exposed to – the materiality of this medium forming part of the narrative.[2]

He has been the recipient of a number of commissions and awards, including London Artists Film and Video Award 2007, Vauxhall Collective Commission 2008 and Film London Artist's Moving Image Network production 2009, and was shortlisted for the Jarman Award 2010.[3] He is recipient of the Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists 2010.[4]

Recent shows include "Slow Action" - solo show; Picture This, Bristol 2010[5] and Matt’s Gallery, London 2011;[6] "A World Rattled of Habit" - solo show, A Foundation, Liverpool, 2009;[7] "Nought to Sixty" ICA, London, 2008.[8] Artist-in-focus screenings and retrospectives include Courtisane Festival;[9] Pesaro International Film Festival; London Film Festival; Tirana Film Festival; Punto de Vista,[10] Pamplona; and Indielisboa. In 2004 he contributed pieces to the video art project Tempography.

Rivers's first feature length film, Two Years at Sea, was presented in September 2011 in the Orizzonti section at the 68th Venice International Film Festival and won the FIPRESCI prize. It has been released on DVD.[11]

Rivers is represented by Kate MacGarry Gallery, London.


  • Two Years at Sea (2011)
  • Slow Action (2010)[12]
  • I Know Where I'm Going (2009)
  • May Tomorrow Shine The Brightest Of All Your Many Days As It Will Be Your Last (2009)
  • A World Rattled of Habit (2008)
  • Origin of the Species (2008)
  • Sørdal (2008)
  • Ah, Liberty! (2008)
  • House (2007)
  • Dove Coup (2007)
  • Greenhouse (2007)
  • Terror! (2006)
  • The Coming Race (2006)
  • Astika (2006)
  • This Is My Land (2006)
  • The Bomb with a Man in his Shoe (2005)
  • The Hyrcynium Wood (2005)
  • We the People (2004)
  • Old Dark House (2003)


External links[edit]