Roger Ballen belongs to the most important photographers of his generation. Born in New York in 1950, Ballen has lived and worked in Johannesburg, South Africa for over thirty years. From 1982 to 1994 Ballen aimed his camera at the white citizens in the hinterland. He acquired world fame with probing photo’s that map the daily surroundings of these persons at the fringe of the South-African community. In his recent photos the human has been ousted to the margin of his presentation and Ballen investigates the darker depths of human existence. While his career started with documentary photography in a more conventional form, Ballen gradually developed a unique way of photographing that has a more participative character. Together with the inhabitants he looks up to , he began to build complex scenes in which he brings together objects which he finds on site with drawings, pets and humans. The resulting photo’s of these wondrous collaborations have a strong psychological effect and give a poignant image of the human condition. His mixture of photography, performance, assemblage and installation art, as well as drawing, transcends the medium of photography.
Roger Ballen was a participating artist in the exhibition Costume Bureau, curated by Roel Arkesteijn, from 10 October to 25 November 2014 at Framer Framed.