The Montage exhibition shows work from Roger Ballen’s book Shadow Chamber, produced by Phaidon press in 2005. In the grey area between fact and fiction, the work explores the underbelly or ‘shadow chamber’ of existence, focusing on the interactions between the people, animals, or objects that inhabit mysterious rooms, Ballen’s unique image space. The rooms are unsettling and strange: their walls are covered with scribbled drawings, stains and dangling wires, the floors are strewn with bizarre props and artifacts. Dogs, rabbits and kittens wander into the frame or are stuffed into unlikely containers. Figures hide away in boxes, crouch behind overstuffed sofas and squat with their shirts pulled over their heads. Shadow Chamber enters into a new realm of photography, blurring the boundaries between documentary photography and art forms such as painting, theatre and sculpture.
World-renowned and award-winning photographer Roger Ballen was born in New York City in 1950 and has lived in Johannesburg South Africa for almost 30 years. Beginning by documenting the small dorpe or villages of rural South Africa, Ballen’s photography in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s focused instead on their inhabitants. By the mid 1990’s Ballen’s subjects began to act where previously his pictures, however troubling, fell firmly into the category of documentary photography and his work then moved into the realms of fiction. His third book Outland produced by Phaidon Press in 2000 was the result; followed by Fact or Fiction in 2003 and Shadow Chamber in 2005.
Ballen regularly shows his work in galleries and museums around the world, and his photographs are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Victoria & Albert Museum, London and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. He has won numerous awards, including the prize for Best Photographic Book of the Year at the Foto España festival in Madrid and Photographer of the Year at the Rencontres de la photographie d’Arles in France.
For more information click: www.rogerballen.com