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’.