British video artist Ben Rivers shoots on 16 mm film, often black and white, and processed in the kitchen sink, giving the appearance of ageing, archival footage. The artist shoots on an old Bolex wind-up camera, which can only offer a continuous shot of 30 seconds. This arduous process has limitations turned to the artist's advantage to accumulate fragments of situations. During the process the artist collaborates with subjects by offering them props, thus breaking down the conventional rules of documentary film making to capture a more sensory and emotional depiction reminiscent of Scottish filmmaker and poet Margaret Tait and American photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard. Rivers' films are not primarily documentary or ethnographic in style, despite referring to these genres. Rather, his work is personal and fragmented.
Ben Rivers born in Somerset lives and works in London. He has screened his films in International Film Festivals and Art Spaces worldwide and received commissioning awards from The Arts Council of England, London Artists Film and Video Awards and The Netherlands Film Fund. His two recent works 'This is My Land' and 'The Coming Race' were included in 'if' at Bloomberg Space in March this year. Rivers' on going project 'The Brighton Cinematheque', which he co-founded in 1996, is a regular screening programme of recent and historical works, which highlight his interests in dealing with the complex strategies to convey cinematic histories within film making. Included in the ICA's Nought to Sixty programme Rivers held a unique screening drawing from his own ideas and fellow artist film-maker friends.