Having just mentioned Roger Ballen the other day I came across an interview/podcast with him on Lensculture
From the Lensculture intro:
"Ballen’s photographs are beautiful because of the richness of light, the
abundance of textures, the surreal archetypal imagery and dream-like
juxtapositions. They are complex pictures, exquisitely composed, printed to
near-perfection — and almost always they hold some tension that lingers long
after the first gaze...
The images are obviously staged, but they are troubling in their brutal raw
reality. Ballen uses recurring themes and props: wire, shadows, dirty feet,
soiled bed sheets, filthy walls, boxes with rough holes cut out, crude drawings
cover many surfaces. Junk is piled on junk. People and animals are in awkward,
dangerous and absurd positions.
It would be easier to swallow if we could
think of the characters as models or actors, following stage directions. But
very many of these images seem too real. The characters look like they are
really strung out on the far edges of ordinary life...
Ballen is very open and generous in our interview. At the end he says,
“Do we live in a world of order or chaos? That’s a pretty important
question to deal with.”"
— Jim Casper
I was just talking with someone who went to his talk at the NY Photo Festival last year. They said it was one of the most stimulating and thought provoking talks invloving photogrpahy htye had been to in a long time. It was apparently mor elike a performance piece than just a talk, alhtough one where the perfmormer wasn't really performing, rather, presenting themselves.
Go take a look and a listen on lensculture - definately worth it.
along with a god few of his photographs.
(All photographs Roger Ballen)