Ben Rivers' films are at once aesthetic and anthropological projects. Rivers is intent on witnessing the lives of others and presenting them not as oddities, but precious anomalies to be appreciated. His previous subjects have included an elderly man living in a ramshackle cottage in the wilderness of the Scottish highlands and feral children playingamongst the debris of a farmyard. In short, his preoccupation is with those living beyond mainstream, urban culture, in rural if not totally isolated environments.
Whereas previous locations have been remote, Sack Barrow explores a small family run factory in the outskirts of London. It was set up in 1931 to provide work for limbless and disabled exservicemen and, following many years of struggle to maintain a viable business specialising in metal electroplating for the engineering industry, the factory finally went into liquidation in 2011. In June that year Rivers filmed the environment and daily routines of the final month of the six workers, and has since filmed the empty factory once it had finally closed down. Ben Rivers won the Baloise Art Prize, with Sack Barrow, in 2011.
- Artwork Details: running time: 21 minutes
- Edition: 4 of 5
- Material description: 16mm film, colour with audio
- Credit line: © the artist. Part funded by The Changing Room, Stirling and Hayward Gallery, London.
- Medium: Film and Audio Visual
- Accession number: ACC9/2011