The Center for Ongoing Research & Projects

Ben Russell

The Garden of Earthly Delights

September 9th, 2015, 7:00 PM
Wexner Center Film/Video Theater

  • Ben Russell, Let Us Persevere in What We Have Resolved Before We Forget

What do we do now, now that we’re happy? –Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

In collaboration with The Wexner Center for the Arts and his upcoming exhibition at COR&P, filmmaker Ben Russell will present a recent trilogy of films, including a just-finished live performance film that’s an “epilogue” to the series. Taking its title from Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych in which the pleasures of Eden are surreally conflated with the torments of Hell, this program of (mostly) nonfiction works examines the ecstatic limits of finding utopia in the present. Moving from a postcolonial vision of Melanesian cargo cults and a documentary portrait of Atlantis to a world populated by dream-healers and Christian animists, each of these films takes a visceral, embodied, and ethnographic approach toward its subject–which is also us.

Full program:

About the Artist

Ben Russell is an itinerant media artist and curator whose films, installations, and performances foster a deep engagement with the history and semiotics of the moving image. Formal investigations of the historical and conceptual relationships between early cinema, visual anthropology, and structuralist filmmaking result in immersive experiences concerned at once with ritual, communal spectatorship and the pursuit of a “psychedelic ethnography.” A 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship and 2010 FIPRESCI award recipient, Ben has had solo screenings and exhibitions at the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Rotterdam Film Festival, the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Viennale, and the Museum of Modern Art. He began the Magic Lantern screening series in Providence, Rhode Island, was co-director of the artist-run space BEN RUSSELL in Chicago, IL, has toured worldwide with film/ video/ performance programs and was named by Cinemascope in 2012 as one of the “50 Best Filmmakers Under 50.” Ben lives between the USA and Europe and is currently calling every new location home.