ISSN: 20456298
First published in 2012
2 issues per volume
Volume 5 Issue 1-2
Cover Date: December 2016
Reading the morphology of Ben Rivers’s chemical landscapes
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Authors:  Patrick Tarrant 
DOI: 10.1386/miraj.5.1-2.58_1

Ben Rivers,the figural,materiality,hand-processing,celluloid,the portrait film

This article examines the discursive and aesthetic functions of the abstract material artefacts that emerge from Ben Rivers’s hand processing of his 16mm films, focusing on the various ways these abstract forms interact with photographic images to produce a compound and plastic textuality. Drawing upon Jean-François Lyotard’s theorization of the figural, which seeks to explain the relationship between a text and its own material image, it examines the oscillation between two registers of filmic discourse in Two Years At Sea (2011) and its short predecessor, This Is My Land (2006). In these films, images of people and landscape merge with textures and shapes that arise from hand processing to create newly thickened worlds upon a chemical landscape.
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