Ben Rivers: The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers

26 Jun 2015 – 31 Aug 2015

Event times

Tuesday – Friday, 18:00–21:30 (last admission 21:00)
Saturday and Sunday, 14:00–20:00 (last admission 19:30)
Monday 31 August is a bank holiday, the project will be open 14:00–20:00

Cost of entry


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Television Centre

England, United Kingdom

Event map

The Moroccan Sahara is littered with the legacy of films shot in its dramatic vistas: abandoned sets that reveal the artifice of filmmaking and trigger our recollection of the half-imagined spaces of familiar films from decades past.


Ben Rivers explores the illusion of filmmaking in Morocco through multiple film projections set in the Drama Block of Television Centre previously used by the BBC to construct scenery and props for TV drama.

Filmed in 16mm cinemascope, narratives, locations, and distinct eras of filmmaking all collide: A Distant Episode, the savage 1947 short story set in Morocco by Paul Bowles; behind-the-scenes footage of two other films shot in Morocco by artist Shezad Dawood and filmmaker Oliver Laxe; Bowles's storytelling muse Mohammed Mrabet playing himself and  Laxe abandoning the set of his own film to take up another role. 

Layering one uncanny landscape, that of Morocco's wild Atlas Mountains and much-filmed desert, with another, the iconic London backdrop to BBC drama since 1960,The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers collapses fiction and documentary into a powerful cinematic installation which pushes at the boundaries of storytelling.

A single screen feature film The Sky Trembles and The Earth Is Afraid and The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers will be released later in 2015 and The Two Eyes are Not Brothers will be presented in its installation form at the Whitworth Gallery in 2016.

An artist book, The Sky Trembles and The Earth Is Afraid and The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers, is available for sale at the project, coming soon to buy online fromCornerhouse. At 128pp, faux-leather bound, with colour and black and white images, this publication includes facsimile reproductions of stories from Paul Bowles's A Distant Episode and a selection of short stories from Mohammed Mrabet's collection ‘M’hasish’. Exhibition price £12 (RRP £15).

The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers is commissioned by Artangel, The Whitworth, Manchester, and the BFI’s Film Fund, with the support of Arts Council England. It was selected through Open by Artangel and BBC Radio 4. 
The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers is part of the Artangel Collection, a national initiative to commission and present new film and video work, supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. 

Artangel is generously supported by the private patronage of The Artangel International Circle, Special Angels and The Company of Angels.

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Ben Rivers

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