Now, at last!
2018, single-channel video, 39’20”
Due mostly to capitalist human activity, with thoughts of mass extinction of different forms of life on the planet, Now, at last! was growing in the artist’s mind for some time. He wanted to make a film that looked solely at an animal, which didn’t anthropomorphise it. He wanted to simply be with it, watching, listening. The sloth was the perfect animal to film, because it moves so little, and Rivers likes that it has a completely different relation to time from our own. People call them lazy, a derogatory name, and yet it is a successful creature, living happily almost without predators. Humans always view nature in relation to themselves. We’ re an egotistical animal, always at the centre, so the sloth seems slow. Rivers wanted to try and turn that around, to give the viewer the space and time to move into sloth time, the viewers can even fall asleep. Humans have lost a lot of connection with nature, which causes so many of the problems humans and the planet face, so the film is a reminder that we share the planet, and need to see ourselves as part of nature rather than outside of it.
UK / 1972 born in Somerset, UK, now living and working in London
Ben Rivers is an artist and experimental filmmaker whose work straddles the boundary between fiction and documentary. Often Rivers will follow individuals who have separated themselves from society, creating footage that he later weaves into fictionalized narratives. The raw film footage provides Rivers with a starting point for creating oblique narratives imagining alternative existences in marginal worlds.