Limited edition

Unique Artwork

From "Unleashed" serie

Collage, photography,
37 x 37 cm

Signed by artist


"Unleashed": Unsettling, even brutal, this is Roger Ballen, revisiting the depths of the human psyche in a project together with Hans Lemmen; a project remarkable in every respect. Living thousands of miles apart, the two artists have worked on each other's works over a period of months. Photos and drawings have been exchanged and re-exchanged, dissected, made into collages, in part re-photographed and drawn over; an intense dialogue involving camera, scissors, charcoal and pen. The result is spectacular, transcending the boundaries across these several genres.

Roger Ballen

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 f...

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Founded in 2003 by Jutta and Joachim Melchers, ARTCO evolved from an art agency into a gallery in 2005. Based in Aachen, Germany, ARTCO Gallery is situated in the heart of Europe, close to Cologne and Düsseldorf, and bordering Belgium and the Netherlands.

The gallery represents a selection of local and international artists with a particular interest in painting and photography. ARTCO's main focus is the presentation of established and emerging artists with an African background.

The gallery participates in a number of international fairs, seeking to bring art from the African continent to the widest possible audience. In addition to its programme of solo shows and group exhibitions, ARTCO Gallery publishes art books, catalogues and printed matter.

ARTCO Project Space Berlin

Wassertorstraße 62
10969 Berlin

Opening hours during exhibitions:
Tuesday - Friday: 11.00 - 18.00
Saturday: 11.00 - 17.00

ARTCO Studio Space Cape Town
East Side Studios
20 Brickfield Road, Salt River
Cape Town
South Africa

Only by appointment

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Curated by Artco

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