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Winner Eye Prize 2016 | Ben Rivers

Ben Rivers wins the second Eye Art & Film Prize.

Ben Rivers. © Kate MacGarry.
Ben Rivers. © Kate MacGarry.

Ben Rivers’ 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.
London-based Ben Rivers is developing a significant oeuvre, contributing to the developments in the field between visual arts and film in an outstanding manner.

Ben Rivers

Ben Rivers (b. 1972, Somerset, UK) studied Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art, initially in sculpture before moving into photography and super8 film. After his degree he taught himself 16mm filmmaking and hand-processing.

He is the recipient of numerous prizes including Ann Arbor Jury Prize 2015; Tiger Award Best Short Film - International Film Festival Rotterdam, 2015; New Visions Award, CPHDOX, 2013; FIPRESCI International Critics Prize, 68th Venice Film Festival (for his first feature film Two Years At Sea), 2011 and the Baloise Prize for Art, Art Basel 42, 2011. Selected solo exhibitions include The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers, Whitworth Museum, Manchester, 2016 and the Marrakech Biennale, 2016; Earth Needs More Magicians, Camden Arts Centre, London, 2015; Sack Barrow, Hamburger Kunsthalle, 2012; Slow Action, Hepworth Wakefield, 2012; Sack Barrow, Hayward Gallery, London, 2011. Artist-in-focus include Courtisane Festival; Pesaro International Film Festival; London Film Festival; Tirana Film Festival; Punto de Vista, Pamplona; Indielisboa and Milan Film Festival.

In 1996 he co-founded Brighton Cinematheque which he then co-programmed through to its demise in 2006 - renowned for screening a unique programme of film from its earliest days through to the latest artist’s film and video.

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The Eye Art & Film Prize 2016 - Ben Rivers. Film by Kate Church.

“Ben Rivers is one of the new strong voices of his generation, where boundaries between cinema and the other arts no longer exist. In his visually stunning work, he shows his engagement with today's society. Ben Rivers has a poetic eye, which makes him an elegant and sensitive observer of life and nature.”

Sandra den Hamer, director Eye Filmmuseum and chair of Eye Art & Film Prize, on behalf of the jury

Ben Rivers, Earth Needs More Magicians. Camden Arts Centre, London.
Ben Rivers, Earth Needs More Magicians. Camden Arts Centre, London.
Ben Rivers, Earth Needs More Magicians. Camden Arts Centre, London.
Ben Rivers, Earth Needs More Magicians. Camden Arts Centre, London.

Eye Art & Film Prize

Eye Filmmuseum and The Paddy & Joan Leigh Fermor Arts Fund created the Eye Art & Film Prize in 2015 to highlight the intricate relation between contemporary art and film. The annual 25,000 GBP prize is to fund the making of new work by a living artist. The aim of the prize is to support and promote the artist or filmmaker whose work unites art and film, and demonstrates quality of thought, imagination and artistic excellence. The winner of the inaugural prize in 2015 was Hito Steyerl (b. 1966, Munich). The first Eye Art & Film Prize winners’ exhibition will take place in 2018.