Roger Ballen

(New York, 1950)

Born in New York (1950), lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. Roger Ballen is one of the most relevant photographic artists of our century. For more than four decades, the artist has investigated through his work the deepest, most intriguing and unknown aspects of the individual, finding in the close and the human the greatest inspiration for his work, and in the mind, the most inexhaustible of creative sources. His work as a geologist led him to observe the streets, and his camera gradually took him into the homes of his neighbours in Johannesburg, where he developed his ability to delve into the character and inner world of people living on the margins of society, always directing a look at them from the perspective of dignity and respect. Ballen has not stopped experimenting with the hybridisation of reality and fantasy through photography and film, where he also includes different artistic manifestations such as drawing or collage.

The contribution that Roger Ballen shares with us in Confinement Archive allows us to enter into his thoughts during this stage of lockdown. With a sincere tone and his paused voice, the artist manages to create an intimate and trusting atmosphere with the spectator. In this case, the artist enters our house, not to portray anyone, but to show himself.

WHY THIS DOWNTIME WAS IMPORTANT TO ME

ROGER BALLEN – JOHANNESBURG LOCKDOWN – WHY THIS DOWNTIME WAS IMPORTANT TO ME

(COURTESY GALERIE KARSTEN GREVE)