The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers is British artist and filmmaker Ben Rivers’ most ambitious cinematic work to date - a multi-projection, site-specific work created for the vacant Drama Block at Television Centre in White City, London, now under re-development.
Set among the spaces used by the BBC to construct scenery and props for television drama since 1960, the abstracted footage of The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers is projected inside a sequence of found interiors and new structures built from redundant film sets.
Since winning a commission from Artangel and BBC Radio 4’s Open call for British artists in 2013, Rivers has developed multiple narratives for The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers, at the heart of which is an adaptation of A Distant Episode, the savage short story set in Morocco by American author Paul Bowles, first published in 1947. Shot against the wild landscape of the Atlas Mountains, Rivers’ project excavates the illusion of filmmaking through the integration of behind-the-scenes footage on two other film productions recently shot in Morocco by artist Shezad Dawood and filmmaker Oliver Laxe.
The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers was filmed in hand-processed 16mm cinemascope among the abandoned film sets that litter the Sahara Desert, and in Tangier where Rivers invites Bowles’ storytelling muse Mohammed Mrabet to play himself. Fiction and non-fiction are further elided as Laxe leaves the set of his own film to take up the role of Bowles’ protagonist in A Distant Episode with unexpected consequences.
The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers is co-commissioned with the BFI’s Film Fund and The Whitworth, Manchester, and will also be released later in 2015 as a single screen feature film.
The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers will be presented at the Whitworth Gallery, Manchester in 2016.
Venue details: Television Centre, Wood Lane, White City, London W12 7RJ
Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday 6pm - 9.30pm & Saturday and Sunday 2pm - 8pm