Ben Rivers


Ben Rivers studied Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art, initially in sculpture before moving into photography and super8 film. After his degree he taught himself 16mm filmmaking and hand-processing. His 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.

He is the recipient of numerous prizes including: FIPRESCIInternational Critics Prize, 68th Venice Film Festival for his first feature film Two Years At Sea; the BaloiseArt Prize, Art Basel 42, 2011; shortlisted for the Jarman Award 2010/2012; Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists, 2010. Recent exhibitions include: Slow Action, Hepworth Wakefield, 2012; Sack Barrow, Hayward Gallery, London, 2011; Slow Action, Matt’s Gallery, London and Gallery TPW, Toronto, 2011; A World Rattled of Habit, A Foundation, Liverpool, 2009. Artist-in-focus include Courtisane Festival; PesaroInternational Film Festival; London Film Festival; Tirana Film Festival; Punto de Vista, Pamplona;Indielisboa and Milan Film Festival.

In 1996 he co-founded Brighton Cinematheque which he then co-programmed through to its demise in 2006 – renowned for screening a unique programme of film from its earliest days through to the latest artist’s film and video.

A World Rattled of Habit (2008, 10’16”)

A friend of the artist, Oleg Meschko, describes how he has dealt with the difficulties of the various countries he has lived in, distancing himself from the ideals of ‘normal people’.