Artwork of the Week – Ben Rivers

Sørdal - 2008. Ben Rivers


Still from Sørdal - 8min, 16mm, 2008.
Still from Sørdal - 8min, 16mm, 2008.

Liverpool artwork of the week 2009- 36. ‘Sørdal’ 16mm film by Ben Rivers in ‘A World Rattled of Habit’ at A Foundation 4 September – 17 October 2009

The exhibition consists of several films by Ben Rivers showing in roughly assembled shacks or in the old rooms dotted around the massive furnace space at the A Foundation in Greenland Street. The films alone are fascinating but the installations adds extra atmosphere. For Sørdal the building has a grass covered roof, mirroring those in the film, this makes the space even more earthy and cosy.

Of these works the most enigmatic is the almost empty silent film, Sørdal. In 2007 Rivers made his second quest into the wilderness of the Arctic Circle, to Hamoroy, where Hamsun spent much of his youth. While there he searched for a character to mirror those in the writings but locals had no strong suggestions until a teacher drew a map to an abandoned film set, built in the late 1970’s for a film adaptation of one of Hamsun’s novels. This seemed incredibly fortuitous so Rivers made his way there, hiking miles with all his gear from the nearest place to park the car. Down in a valley facing out to sea he found the eerie group of buildings, where he camped through a storm, listening out through the torrent in the night for bears, and made a film where the solitary person is the unseen one behind the camera.’ Mark Waugh

Ben Rivers A World Rattled of Habit‘ at A Foundation
4 September – 17 October 2009
An exhibition of Ben River’s exquisite film works shown with River’s sculptural works and a new series of etchings.