The Renaissance Society presents the first US solo exhibition by London-
Explorations of community, landscape, freedom, and flux are at the center of Rivers's practice. Working in both feature-
International Archives 2nd half of 2016
© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2016. All Rights Reserved
Urth takes its title from the Old Norse word suggesting the twisted threads of fate, as cited by philosopher Timothy Morton in his recent book, Dark Ecology. The films in the exhibition share an interest in utopias—in particular, the tension between a yearning for an idealized world and the impossibility of such a place. For Rivers, utopias are necessarily hermetic and subjective spaces, conditions that are reflected in the settings of these works.
For this exhibition, the Renaissance Society commissioned Rivers to produce a new film, also titled Urth, which he filmed on location at Arizona's Biosphere 2. A cinematic meditation on ambitious experiments, artificial environments, and visions of the future, this new work imagines a scientist living alone inside an experimental ecosystem. In a voice-
Two previous films by Rivers similarly explore the relationship between humans and the natural and constructed world.
Ways of Worldmaking, the first monograph on Rivers's work, will be published in autumn 2016 by Kunstverein in Hamburg, Camden Arts Centre, Triennale di Milano, and the Renaissance Society. The publication includes new essays by Melissa Gronlund, Ed Halter, and Andrea Picard alongside extensive images from Rivers's films and texts by Robert Pinget, Renee Gladman, and Henri Michaux, among others.
Curated by Solveig Øvstebø.
Ben Rivers, Urth, 2016. Production still. Courtesy of the artist and Kate MacGarry, London
Exhibition 10 September -