Known for his probing, often challenging images that exist in a space between painting, drawing, installation and photography, yet until now, no comprehensive retrospective on African photographer Roger Ballen has been released yet. Based on an entirely new appraisal of his archive, one that looks beyond his monographic projects for the first time, the book Ballenesque takes the reader on a visual, chronological tour of the photographer’s entire oeuvre, including both the iconic images and previously unpublished works.
This month Roger Ballen releases an expanded edition of his critically acclaimed book, Outland published by Phaidon Press which features 45 previously unpublished photographs. Along with this new incarnation of the book, Ballen has collaborated with director Ben Crossman for the second time to create an accompanying video for Outland, which re-introduces some of Ballen’s protagonists 15 years after the fact.
by Jonathan Blaustein Roger Ballen is among the most talented and successful photographic artists in the world today. He was kind enough to agree to an extensive interview last month, and is also allowing us to publish images from two forthcoming books. J
MONO Volume One is the first hardback of a trilogy, showcasing an inspiring collection of contemporary black & white photography. Its 270 pages feature a broad scope of internationally renowned artists such as Antoine D'Agata, Trent Parke, Anders Petersen and Roger Ballen
Textures, compositions, objects, animals, disturbing characters and graphic elements create unique compositions that emotionally captivate the spectator. It would be a futile endeavour to attempt to explain his images, for they come from a way of telling that cannot be translated into another discipline
It's hard for me not to sound a bit overzealous about the GH2 and these two new lenses. I was predisposed toward the GH1, and now with the GH2 Panasonic has mostly fixed those few deficiencies that the GH1 had
American photographer Roger Ballen has been living and photographing in South Africa since the late 1970s. His photographs have caused international controversy, excitement, and debate ever since his book, Platteland: Images of a Rural South Africa, was published in the 1990s. Platteland was filled with raw, direct, disturbing photographs of poor white people in South Africa whose lives had been marginalized by the Apartheid government. While some critics accused Ballen of compiling a "voyeuristic freak show," Susan Sontag described the book as "the most important sequence of portraits I've seen in years."
For most of the photobooks I review, they usually are stand alone books, but I feel that Roger Ballen’s recent book Boarding House needs to be placed into a larger perspective. Specificly to the content of his two previous books, Shadow Chamber, published in 2005 and Outland, published in 2001, both by Phaidon Press. Otherwise, it feels like I have walked into the middle of an fascinating and entertaining discussion, but I am left at a loss of what the topic is.
Roger Ballen’s work is often deemed to be disturbing. I don’t think is actually is (my idea of “disturbing” might be different from yours), but we can probably easily agree on calling him one of the most creative photographers currently producing work.
Roger Ballen has been making disturbing photographs in South Africa for many years now. In an exclusive audio interview for Lens Culture, he talks about a wide range of topics, including how he found his “voice” as a photographer, his working methods and philosophy, why he uses flash lighting, the violence of nature in South Africa where he lives, the similarities between geology and photography (he holds a Ph.D. in Mineral Economics), and more.