Beatrice Gibson, A Necessary Music, film still, 2008. Image courtesy of the artist and LUX, London.

Late Screenings III

Beatrice Gibson

A Necessary Music


Ben Rivers

Slow Action

Thursday 17 October 2019, 8.00—10.00pm

Rhubaba is delighted to present the third instalment of our Late Screenings programme. Each evening of artists’ films will explore a different theme, selected by Rhubaba committee members. This instalment will include Beatrice Gibson’s A Necessary Music and Ben River’s Slow Action, both films constructing and exploring utopian spaces for inhabitation.

This event is free and un-ticketed; refreshments and popcorn will be provided.

Beatrice Gibson’s A Necessary Music is a science fiction film about modernist social housing. A musically conceived piece, referencing the video operas of Robert Ashley, the film explores the social imaginary of a utopian landscape through directed attention to the voices that inhabit it. Treating the medium of film as both a musical proposition and a proposal for collective production, A Necessary Music employs the resident of New York’s Roosevelt Island as its authors and actors, gathering together texts written by them and using them to construct a script for the film. Casting seventeen residents to enact these lines accompanied by a fictional narration take from Adolfo Bioy Casares‘ 1941 science fiction novel ‘The invention of Morel’, the film deploys fiction as a tool to frame and activate its site. Self-consciously dissolving from attempted realism to imagined narrative, what begins as a process concerned with sociality becomes instead an ethnographic fiction about place and community, and an investigation into representation itself.

Ben River’s Slow Action is a post-apocalyptic science fiction film which exists somewhere between documentary, ethnographic study and fiction. Slow Action applies the idea of island biogeography – the study of how species and eco-systems evolve differently when isolated and surrounded by unsuitable habitat – to a conception of the Earth in a few hundred years; the sea level rising to absurd heights, creating hyperbolic utopias that appear as possible future mini-societies.


This event is open to everyone.

If you have any accessibility requirements please let us know via and we can advise if we are able to accommodate. Please note that unfortunately Rhubaba does not have a wheelchair accessible toilet or any baby changing facilities and has one gender neutral bathroom. The gallery space is accessible by wheelchair; please email in advance (or knock!) and staff will assist with the door. Assistance dogs are welcome.