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“It is difficult to explain this place except that I think it exists in some way or another in most people’s mind.” –Roger Ballen
These photographs are like images from a waking dream: compelling and thought-provoking, with layers of rich details, flashes of dark humor, and an altered sense of place. Blurring the boundaries between documentary photography and art, my work is both a social statement and a complex psychological study.
BOARDING HOUSE is a space of transient residence, of comings and goings, of people sheltered in a place they are using for their immediate survival. Basic and fundamental, the structure is furnished with objects necessary for an elementary existence, decorated with evocative drawings, and littered throughout with animals. Remnants function there as physical symbols of events that have occurred in the space; broken pieces of a functional reality exist as the leftovers of scenarios that have been played out there. The altered sense of place of this temporary abode creates a sense of alienation, which acts as a jumping off point for the imagination to run wild.
Roger Ballen was born in New York in 1950. Since 1982 he has been living and taking photographs in South Africa.
His work is represented in many museums including Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Ballen’s work has been recently exhibited in numerous museums in Europe and the United States.
Comments are open on this essay… If you have any questions, feel free to ask Roger, he will be jumping in on the comments soon…It is with great pleasure that I present Roger Ballen on Burn…
… david alan harvey