Ben Rivers: OilScapes

myland 1

Still from Ben Rivers This is My Land (2006)

Having spent much of today reading and thinking about landscape theory and oilscapes, this evening’s screening at the Sir Duncan Rice Library Gallery, Aberdeen, of Ben Rivers’s evocative shorts (shot on 16mm and hand-processed) provided a fascinating example of film’s ability to provide a particular form of access to the oilscape – both in its materiality as a petrochemical derivative and in the way in which it can draw attention to its physical existence through recycling images of petrochemical waste. Rivers’s films, then, like Ernst Logar’s plastic ‘oil-rigs’ (temporary interventions in Aberdeen’s beach landscape) are works that make visible the relationship between oil and the visual arts through sculpting in oil.

Ernst Logar ‘Logie’ from the series ‘Oil-Rigs’

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