BEN RIVERS

ah, liberty!
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Ah, Liberty! (20 min, anamorphic 16mm, b/w, 2008)

“To name an attitude black and white suggests reduction, but in this rural, ethnographic portrait the artist unravels a thousand tones of each. How long does it take until this overflowing bath becomes a lake, until the simple forest drive (there is nothing simple here) tranforms these children into airborne angels of light? There is a tender brutality at work here, nothing is polished or smooth or well rounded, instead the advventure of seeing is undertaken ready to fall and bruise, to be wounded by its search. And it is from this necessary wound that the artist joins in with the life of a family grown wild out of doors with the horses and chickens. For its compassion, its refusal of the sentimental, its quick witted montage and dramaturgy of the everyday, the Tiger Award goes to Ah, Liberty!” (Jury Statement, Rotterdam International Film Festival 2008)

A family’s place in the wilderness, outside of time; free-range animals and children, junk and nature, all within the most sublime landscape. The work aims at an idea of freedom, which is reflected in the hand-processed Scope format, but is undercut with a sense of foreboding. There’s no particular story; beginning, middle or end, just fragments of lives lived, rituals performed.

Funded by London Artists Film and Video Award.
Tiger Award Best Short Film – International Film Festival Rotterdam 2008
Best Experimental Film – Curtas Vila do Conde Film Festival 2008
Best ExiS Award – ExiS, Seoul 2008
The Badass Spirit of Blackhawk Award – ICE, Iowa 2008
Best Film - Second Prize – Onion City Film Festival, Chicago 2008
Special Mention – Videoex, Switzerland 2008 

 

Selected Exhibition:
Earth Needs More Magicians, solo show, Camden Arts Centre, London, Sept-Nov 2015
Ah, Liberty! - Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, apr/may 2013
Insomnia, Fundaciˇ Joan Mirˇ, mar-june 2013
Someone Else, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, mar-june 2013 A World Rattled of Habit – Solo show, A Foundation, Liverpool, Sept-Oct 2009
Air-to-Earth – Group show, 12 Claremont, Hastings, Sept 2009
Wild Shapes – Cell Project Space, Oct-Nov 2008
We Can Not Exist In This World Alone – two-person touring show with Ben Russell
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, July 2008 
SOFA gallery, Christchurch, Christchurch, July 2008
Chalk horse Gallery, Sydney, Aug 2008
OtherFilm, Brisbane, Aug 2008

 

Selected Screenings:
Premier – International Film Festival Rotterdam, Jan 2008
Ann Arbor Film Festival, March 2008
Images – Toronto, April 2008
Mediawave – Gyor, Hungary, April 2008
Courtisane, Ghent, Solo screening, April 2008
IndieLisboa, April 2008
EMAF, April 2008
PDX, Portland, April 2008
Jeonju Film Festival, South Korea, May 2008
Videoex, Switzerland, May 2008
Onion City, Chicago, June 2008
Pesaro Film Festival, Solo screening, June 2008
Hamburg Short Film Festival, June 2008
Vila Do Conde, Portugal, July 2008
New Zealand IFF, Aukland/Wellington, July 2008
Melbourne IFF, Aug 2008
Sao Paolo Short Film Festival, Aug 2008
ExiS, Seoul, Aug 2008
Dokufest, Kosova, Aug 2008
25FPS, Zagreb, Sept 2008  
London Film Festival, Solo screening, Oct 2008
Views, New York Film Festival, Oct 2008
Viennale, Oct 2008
ICE, Iowa, Oct 2008 
Valdivia International Film Festival, Chile, Oct 2008
Cinematheque Francaise, Oct 2008
CPHDox, denmark, Oct 2008
L’Alternativa, Barcelona, Nov 2008
Chicago Underground Film Festival, Oct 2008
Curtocircuito, Santiago, Oct 2008 
Aarhus Film Festival, Denmark, Nov 2008
Leeds International Film Festival, Nov 2008
Inverness Film Festival, Nov 2008
Cinecity, Brighton, Dec 2008
Punto de Vista, Spain, Solo screening, Feb 2009
Clermont-Ferrand, Feb 2009
Tabakalera, San Sebastian, Feb 2009
Art Film Fest, Slovakia, June 2009
Granada International Film Festival, Oct 2009

 

 

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