Monday, April 09, 2007

Roger Ballen



There are are some artists whose work somehow intrigues you, but you just can't quite give yourself over to it - Roger Ballen is on such for me. I don't know how many times I have gone through the University bookstore, picked up Ballen's book Shadow Chamber, browsed through it and put it down again. (Another would be Robert ParkeHarrison's work)

As photography, his work is on the edge of what I really find myself comfortable with - which in itself intrigues me.

Ballen has made a move from documentary work to art in what is in some ways quite a leap and yet in other ways a fairly direct journey. Joerg Colberg has a good interview with Ballen over on Conscientious
"It is impossible to surmise what would have happened to ones' life in another situation. Nevertheless, thinking back over the past twenty-five years the isolation that I experienced living in South Africa forced me to look 'inward' rather than than seek answers from others work. I have always believed that the most important source of inspiration should come from the process of understanding one's existence. I have been very fortunate as photography has allowed me to delve into my interior and externalize it..." more


4 comments:

stanco said...

I've had the same exact reaction to Ballen's most recent work, except I'm not that intrigued by it. His previous portraiture and documentary work was so strong without the current contrivance. You could sense the underlying tension, the personal and societal insanity that lurked underneath without having to resort to outright visual props and cues.

Menlo Bob said...

But you've repeatedly picked up the Ballen book. That would seem to validate--at least to some extent--his appeal. For my part I intregued by his work. Its ability to have feet in two different locations, the formal/artistic and the social documentarian may not be unique but it challenges non-the-less.

tim atherton said...

But you've repeatedly picked up the Ballen book. That would seem to validate--at least to some extent--his appeal.

yeah - but not enough to buy it

Menlo Bob said...

I feel the same way towards Mercedes Benz.