Ben Rivers (b.1972 in Somerset, England), lives and works in London. Ben studied Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art (1990-93), 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 has been the recipient of numerous prizes including: FIPRESCI International 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.
Ben Russell (b.1976, USA) is an itinerant media artist and curator whose films, installations, and performances foster a deep engagement with the history and semiotics of the moving image. Formal investigations of the historical and conceptual relationships between early cinema, visual anthropology, and structuralist filmmaking result in immersive experiences concerned at once with ritual, communal spectatorship and the pursuit of a “psychedelic ethnography.”
A 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship and 2010 FIPRESCI award recipient, Ben has had solo screenings and exhibitions at the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Rotterdam Film Festival, the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Viennale, and the Museum of Modern Art. He began the Magic Lantern screening series in Providence, Rhode Island, was co-director of the artist-run space BEN RUSSELL in Chicago, IL, has toured worldwide with film/ video/ performance programs and was named by Cinemascope in 2012 as one of the “50 Best Filmmakers Under 50.” Ben lives between the USA and Europe and is currently calling every new location home.