Boarding House captures an imaginary space of transient residence, of comings and goings, focusing on the evocative drawings and sculptural objects as well as the people and animals found there captures an imaginary space of transient residence, of comings and goings, focusing on the evocative drawings and sculptural objects as well as the people and animals found there.
ABOUT THE PRINT
Silver gelatin print
Sheet size: 420 x 406 mm (16 1/2 x 16 inches)
Image size: 362 x 365 mm (14 1/4 x 14 3/8 inches)
Box: 455 x 440 mm (18 x 17 3/8 inches)
Printed in 2008 in an edition of 50 plus 5 artist's proofs
All copies are signed and numbered by Roger Ballen
Roger Ballen's (b.1950) work focuses on a strange and alluring place that he calls the Boarding House, where he directs his subjects in a unique collaboration of imagination and reality. Toying with fantasy, Ballen's transient compositions create a question mark over our preconceptions of photography, creating a theatre out of the building blocks of documentary.
The motifs of childhood take on new identities in the nightmarish world of the Boarding House - a toy giraffe lies beheaded, while a clear-eyed puppy chews at the foot of a doll face down in the dirt. Amidst this squalor and chaos Ballen's creation is meticulously framed so that the young child on its periphery becomes almost secondary.
Roger Ballen (b. 1950) has lived and worked in Johannesburg, South Africa for almost 30 years. Born in New York, he worked as a geologist and mining consultant before starting his photographic career by documenting the small villages of rural South Africa and their isolated inhabitants. His images are both powerful social statements and disturbing psychological studies. Ballen’s book Outland, also published by Phaidon, was named Best Photographic book of the Year at PhotoEspaña 2001, Madrid, Spain.