Ben River’s (*1972 in Somerset, England, lives and works in London) films tread 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. One of his sources of inspiration is the long, literary tradition of gloomy-optimistic utopias, a concept first coined by Sir Thomas More that evokes a long history in England—from the time of the Enlightenment to British communes in the ’60s and ’70s.
Alluding to the eponymous, early science-fiction work by John Richard Jefferies from 1885, Ben Rivers is planning the After London on post-post-apocalyptic England. The edition Sometime created exclusively for the Kunstverein is part of a series of drawings that were made while writing the script for this film. The sketch depicts a possible future inhabitant of southern England.
- La Triennale di Milano, Mailand (E)
- Urth, Renaissance Society, Chicago (E)
Islands, Kunstverein in Hamburg (E)
The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers, The Whitworth, Manchester (E)
- Earth needs more Magicians, Camden Arts Centre, London (E)
The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers, Artangel Open Commission, Television Centre, White City, London (E)
- Sack Barrow, Hayward Gallery Project Space (E)
Slow Action, Matt’s Gallery, London (E)
- Slow Action, Picture This, Bristol (E)
- A World Rattled of Habit, A Foundation, Liverpool (E)