Roger Ballen

Born in New York in 1950, Roger Ballen has lived and worked in Johannesburg, South Africa, for nearly 40 years. He took his first steps in photography after studying geology, focusing on private interiors with their collections of objects and their closed universe. Metaphors of the unconscious, these places lead him to create what he describes as “documentary fictions”. His hybrid aesthetic mixes drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, photography, models, dolls, and mannequins to create “psychodramas”, which arouse both fear and fascination. Ballen has published a number of books, including Asylum of Birds (2014), and released a number of short films. His work has been shown around the world, notably in France at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (2017), Rencontres d’Arles (2017), and the Halle Saint-Pierre (2019). He represents South Africa at the 2022 Venice Biennale.


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