Saturday, April 11, 2015

Roger Ballen - a psychological journey

Roger Ballen - Brian with pet pig,1998

In this weeks Art Weekly post the guardian's Sean O'Hagan talks with controversial photographer Roger Ballen, best known for is portraits of marginalised and mentally unstable South Africans.
“People constantly compare me to Diane Arbus,” says Roger Ballen, wearily. “But I think Samuel Beckett is the key influence on my work. My photographs evoke the absurdity of the human condition, but they are also records of a personal psychological journey. For me, photography is a way of looking in the mirror.”
Alongside Beckett, Ballen cites Carl Jung and the radical 1960s psychoanalyst RD Laing, author of The Divided Self, as touchstones for these journeys. “Jung’s idea of the shadow self is in there, for sure,” he says. “The darkness in all of us that we suppress. I often think that when people react to my pictures, the darkness they see is a reflection of their own repression.”

You can find the complete article HERE, it's a good read.

Roger Ballen - Man drawing chalk faces, 2000


Theodora Lenka said...

I saw Roger Ballen's "Asylum of the Birds" last year in Musée Niephore Niépce; strong works ! Alongside was an overview of the experimantal photographer Patrick Bailly-Maitre-Grand from Strasbourg. "Colles et Chimères". Do you know his works ? Both shows were well-worth seeing !!

I enjoy reading your posts on your blog Harvey, I read almost all of them and check them out, sometimes even follow them up by bying a book such as the one by Wim Wenders and Mary Zournazi, even though I could not find their book in any of the bookshops I went to here in France.
Say hello to Mir & Pete from me if you see them one of these days.

Agnes / Theodora Lenka

Harvey's Blog said...

Hi thanks Agnes for your comments, I've not seen any of Roger Ballen;s work in a gallery situation, nor the shows you mentioned. Pleased you like reading my blog! And yes will say hi to M&P. Cheers, Harvey