Roger Ballen

Roger Ballen

1 followers

Born in 1950

Lives & works in Johannesburg, South Africa

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Collected by museums and foundations Collected by some 40 museums worldwide, including the Folkwang, Essen, LACMA, Los Angeles, Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Stedelijk, Amsterdam, Victoria and Albert, London, Centre Pompidou, Paris, and the MoMA, New York, just to name a few.


Presentation of the artist

Roger Ballen was Born 1950 in New York City. Since the 1970s he lives and works in South Africa. 

Considered one of the most original image-makers of the twenty-first century, American-born photographer Roger Ballen has lived and worked in South Africa for four decades. His latest work, Asylum of the Birds, is set within the confines of a makeshift house on the outskirts of Johannesburg, a place inhabited by individuals at the absolute margins of society. In this anarchic place, the human and animal inhabitants collaborate as Ballen’s cast in an on going series of quasi-directed performances. As we enter Ballen’s layered netherworld the images simultaneously repel and compel our gaze and transport us to an even darker dream world, that of the fears within our own imagination. The omnipresent birds, both alive and dead, signal a foreboding reminiscent of Hitchcock, while simultaneously suggesting hope and freedom. While the word ‘asylum’ could be defined a place of insanity, it also suggests refuge and persists in our mind as a metaphor for redemption.

Says Ballen of his work; “My purpose in taking photographs over the past forty years has ultimately been about defining myself. It has been fundamentally a psychological and existential journey.”

The photographer studied psychology at the University of California, and later his PhD at the Colorado School of Mines, specialising in Mineral Economics. Ballen was originally drawn to South Africa to work as a geologist, but his enthusiasm for photography strengthened, and he has been taking images there for nearly fifty years.

Ballen's underworld has recently become the setting of a music video by the South African group Die Antwoord entitled ‘I Fink U Freeky’ (with forty-eight million hits online). The exhibition also presents a short video documentary (which received over forty-thousand hits the week of its debut) of Ballen at work.

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Nationality : South Africa

Photography Contemporary Art

In connection with

Artco, Berlin - Germany

Artskop3437 selection, Paris, Bordeaux - France


CV

1950

Born in New York, United States

Solo exhibitions & presentations

2019

Roger Ballen Bilder & Bretter, Berlin, Germany

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2019

Center of Photography, Montevideo, Uruguay

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2019

Centrale for Contemporary Art, Brussels, Belgium

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2019

Galleria Carla Sozzani, Milan, Italy

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2019

Galerija Fotogafija, Slovenija

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2019

Halle St Pierre, Paris, France

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2019

Karsten Greve, Paris, France

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2019

Latvian Museum of Photography, Latvia

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2018

ARTCO Gallery, Aachen – Alter Ego

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CV

Group exhibitions & fairs

2018

ARTCO Gallery, Aachen – Unleashed with Hans Lemmen

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2018

Bonnefaunten Museum, Netherlands – UNLEASHED with Hans Lemmen

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2018

Electril I Ilunya Fotografia Coleccion Olor Visual, Barcelona, Spain

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2018

Haute Photographie Fotografiska Stockholm, Sweden

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2018

Il Terzo Giorno, Parma, Italy

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2018

Ngorongoro II, Berlin, Germany

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2018

Nicodum Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

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2018

Nordic Lights, Norway – NO JOKE with Asger Carlsen

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Press & media

Presse

2019

Artskop3437 - « Le Monde selon Roger Ballen », à la Halle Saint Pierre

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2019

Roger Ballen delves into the human psyche, conjuring up our darkest fears – Collaboration / FvF x Unseen

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2019

The World According to Roger Ballen – British Journal of Photography

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