Friday, September 9, 2011
Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal has just opened and one of the highlight exhibitions is Roger Ballen's body of work Asylum (2004 - 2010).
For Roger Ballen, a photographer who has worked as a mining expert, photography is a means of drilling down into his own psychological depths. Asylum is the most recent stage that he has reached in his descent into himself. The work features birds in macabre, nightmarish, or lewd sketches, which he composes meticulously with a blend of drawing, theatre, painting, and sculpture. He then photographs these scenes, as if to attest to the fact that the strangely familiar asylum in which these birds live actually exists in our reality, and perhaps in our psyches.
Born in 1950 in New York, Roger Ballen lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. In the early 1980s, he moved to South Africa, where he began to photograph life in neglected white rural communities. In the 1990s, this work provoked strong reactions but also recognition from international photography circles. Since Ballen participated at the Rencontres d’Arles in 1996, which named him photographer of the year in 2002, his works have been acquired by prestigious museums and his list of exhibitions has constantly grown. In 2010 alone, his works were shown at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, the Sammlungsleiter Fotomuseum in Munich, the Sydney Biennale, and the Moscow Centre for Contemporary Art. Ballen is represented by the Clint Roenisch Gallery in Toronto.
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Posted by Harvey's Blog at 9:53 AM