THE SKY TREMBLES AND THE EARTH IS AFRAID AND THE TWO EYES ARE NOT BROTHERS is an artist’s book documenting the making of a film by Ben Rivers, commissioned and produced by Artangel. Under the title The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers it was shown as a multi-part film installation in the vacant Drama Block at Television Centre, White City, London from 25 June – 31 August 2015.
At heart of Rivers’ film project is an adaptation of A Distant Episode, the savage short story set in Morocco by American author Paul Bowles. Shot in hand-processed 16mm cinemascope among the abandoned film sets that litter the Sahara Desert, Rivers’ project excavates the illusion of filmmaking through the integration of behind-the-scenes footage on two other film productions by artist Shezad Dawood and filmmaker Oliver Laxe.
The book includes an extensive selection of film stills, production photographs by Yuki Yamamoto, and Rivers’ own preparatory drawings, as facsimile reprints of stories by Bowles and his storytelling muse Mohammed Mrabet.
Rivers has won international acclaim for previous films including Two Years at Sea (2011), and A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness (2013). He is the subject of a major solo exhibition at Camden Arts Centre, London, 25 September – 29 November 2015 and his Artangel commission will be shown at The Whitworth, Manchester in Spring 2016.
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.