A SPELL TO WARD OFF THE DARKNESS
A character at three different moments of his life: a member of a commune on a small Estonian island, a hermit in the solitude of northern Finland, and a singer in a neo-pagan black metal band in Norway.
From the revival of pagan myths to the failure of community life, from heavy metal festivals to arctic hermits, from the eternal “magic hour” to the northern lights, A Spell To Ward Off the Darkness is a quest for the possibilities of spiritual existence within an ever more secular Western culture. Participatory ethnography in the best sense of the term, A Spell choreographs the actions of non-actors amid real Scandinavian landscapes, seeking to achieve a hybrid testimony to the past, present and future.
Ben Rivers, born in 1972, is a British artist who has won awards for his films in numerous festivals. Most notably, he won the Grand Prix at Art Basel for his film Sack Barrow and was selected for the Venice Film Festival in official competition for Two Years at Sea in 2011. In 2013, he was the subject of a focus during the Hors Pistes festival at the Centre Pompidou. Ben Rivers shoots in 16mm. He is interested in individuals or communities living on the margins of society and offers a work on the edge of documentary, bordering on ethnography, with great visual power. Thus, taking a more pictorial than narrative path, his work is placed at the heart of contemporary issues where we note the sensitive emergence of an experimental documentary approach, which feeds on multiple artistic contributions. This hybrid form has allowed him to move from the traditional cinema to art centers through installations.
Ben Russell is an American artist born in 1976. His cinema (more than twenty-five short films and two feature films), in filiation with the cinema of Jean Rouch, integrates ethnographic elements and critical theories. Russell, through his art (performances, installations and cinema), explores the history and semiology of the moving image and designates his work as “psychedelic ethnography”. His films have been awarded in a number of international festivals, including the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008 and the FRIPESCI Award in 2010. His work has been exhibited and screened in venues such as the George Pompidou Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the Rotterdam Film Festival.
Rouge International (Julie Gayet, Nadia Turincev), Must Kasi (Indrek Kasela)
Nicolas Becker, Philippe Ciompi, Chu-Li Shewring
Ben Rivers, Ben Russell
Lichens, Queequeg, Veldo Tormis
Ben Russell - email@example.com