Ben Russell:
Good Luck

September 13 – October 27, 2018
Thurs. – Sat., dusk – 11pm
Everson Museum Plaza
401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, NY

Related Events

Screening + Q&A with Ben Russell

Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 5:30pm
Everson Museum
Hosmer Auditorium

Light Work’s Urban Video Project is pleased to present a new piece by filmmaker Ben Russell at UVP’s Everson Museum architectural projection venue during the months of April and May. The work was specially commissioned by Light Work for exhibition at UVP.

In conjunction with this exhibition, Russell will be present for a special indoor screening + Q&A on Thursday, April 19 at 5:30pm in the Everson Museum Hosmer Auditorium, when the filmmaker will introduce his latest feature length film, a related piece, the epic two and half hour long Good Luck followed by a brief Q&A.

About the Work

Good Luck (Portraits)

TRT: 48:42 loop

Super-16mm transfer to HD video


Derived from a four-channel installation first presented in Kassel, Germany in 2017 at the international art biennial, documenta 14, this single-channel looping projection by artist Ben Russell presents a series of intimate black and white S16mm portraits of miners, as recorded between a state-owned large-scale underground copper mine in the war-torn state of Serbia and an illegal gold mining collective in the tropical heat of Suriname.

Made in the style of Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests and filmed on-site, these hand-processed portraits are accompanied by a visceral soundscape drawn from the chaotic working environment of the men pictured.  In Good Luck (Portraits), the film’s subjects briefly pause in the infinite labor of mineral extraction to give us a subjective vision of their inner selves – a vision controlled by their own hand.  Here is the human foundation of capital, revealed.

The related feature-length film, titled simply Good Luck, will screen indoors at the Everson Museum for the related event on April 19 with the filmmaker present.

About the Artist

Ben Russell (b.1976, USA) is an artist and filmmaker whose work lies at the intersection of ethnography and psychedelia. His films and installations are in direct conversation with the history of the documentary image, providing a time-based inquiry into trance phenomena and evoking the research of Jean Rouch, Maya Deren and Michael Snow, among others. Russell received a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship, a FIPRESCI International Critics Prize (IFFR 2009) for his first feature film Let Each One Go Where He May. His second feature film, A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness (co-directed with Ben Rivers), premiered at the Locarno International Film Festival in 2013. Curatorial projects include Magic Lantern (Providence, USA, 2005-2007), BEN RUSSELL (Chicago, USA, 2009-2011), and Hallucinations (Athens, Greece, 2017). He currently resides in Los Angeles. In the summer of 2017 he was an exhibiting artist in documenta 14.

Artist’s website:


This exhibition was supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.