THE RIVERBED
BEN MURPHY

Front Members' Room 18/3/2017 - 27/5/2017

Monday to Friday 10:00–19:00, Saturday 10:00–17:00.
NB. Closed 1–18 April (AA Easter Closure) & Bank Holiday Monday 1 May 2017


In a remote mountainous area of south-east Spain, multi-national, non-conformist individuals live out their versions of paradise in ephemeral, loosely bound communities. Here, people choose migration to facilitate an ideology, in an attempt to escape western society rather than join it.

In this landscape, distinct countercultural groups exist in hard to find places – along the banks of an infertile riverbed, in ravines and off mountain passes, in relative proximity to each other. People who reject and subvert the conventions of a structured democratic society from Europe, North and South America, Japan and Australasia gravitate to this area, making their temporal imprint on the land, local culture and atmosphere of place through the environments they stage and occupy. Temporal encampments appear then disappear. In a continual state of flux, some are relocated, some are destroyed by the local authorities, some are abandoned, then re-inhabited and reconfigured by others searching for a sense of utopia.

These photographs, made during extended trips over a ten-year period, show how international neo-nomadic countercultures are represented, reinforced and maintained through the customised trucks, vans, coaches and self-made dwellings they inhabit. Reflecting on values and expectations of home, society and freedom, and the inevitable paradoxes, compromises and entanglements inherent in rejecting the dominant system, the work aims to ask what it means to live an alternative life on the margins of the mainstream, and how these identities are expressed through dwelling and habitat.


Contact details

Head of Exhibitions:
Vanessa Norwood
T: +44 (0)20 7887 4031
vanessa@aaschool.ac.uk



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