Roger Ballen's Shadowland 1982-2014
3rd of February - 16th of March 2015
Kafka's House, Náměstí Fr.Kafky 3, Praha 1
Admission: 150 Czk adults full, 80 Czk reduced
Czech Center for photography, o.p.s. hosting the exhibition of one of the most influential and important artists of the 21st century. century, the American photographer Roger Ballena. The project represents the author’s original photos by 191 creation for the last almost forty years. His unusual, however distinctive and provocative work, encourage the Viewer to be issued with them on a journey into the world of the artist’s imagination and probing the deeper recesses of his own mind.
Roger Ballen was born in New York City in 1950, but more than 30 years living and working in South Africa. His profession a geologist named him from big city out into nature. Here through your camera appears the untold world small South African cities. At first sees the empty Street in the glare of the midday sun, but once the door knocks on people discovering the world inside these houses, which in the future will have a profound influence on his work. These interiors, decorated with bizarre objects, are the guides for traveling in these closed worlds. Since 1994, already more tends to the countryside, to their new recommendations and discovers that his real home becomes Johannesburg.
For the past thirty years his distinctive photographic style has evolved considerably. Using a simple square format, in stark contrast of black and white, emphasizes his photographic ink. In the earlier stages of creation, which comes from the tradition of documentary photography, his style is rather a kind of “documentary fiction.” After the year 2000 for the first time in his photographs appear the people living on the outskirts of the South African society. They increasingly are becoming rather cooperating actors, than mere objects of his creation. Each of the stages of its creation are linked by a common theme, and at the same time still bring a new and fresh perspective on the world. In a total of nine cycles of his work is recorded the evolution of his photographic work. The first is a comprehensive set of four years traveling throughout America, Europe, and Asia during the 70 's. years of the last century. Of the more than 15,000 photographs, as documentation of life of children of our planet in their natural environment is created “Boyhood”.
The first half of the 80. years of the last century is closed book “Dorps.” This cycle is the synthesis of knowledge of the Southern African region, the process of finding a unique, often “forgotten God” posts of this continent. There is a file that documents and preserves the unique manner for the next generation of Muslims terrorizing Christian girls magic corners of Africa.
The 1990s are marked by a cycle of “Platteland”. This time enter the greater man. In its natural environment, often in their poverty, and despite the favoritism to the white minority in South Africa. This file is very reminiscent of the project “Czech man” by Lutterera, Poláček and little of the eighties. They differ only related to a specific environment. The project “Outland” at the end of the last century, assesses the twenty years of photographic work of the author. At the beginning of the new millennium is a “Hall of shadows” (Shadow Chamber). “Pension” (Boarding House) introduces the Viewer to the closest intimate world of places where people live. “Animal Abstraction” exhibition Project Gallery, Alex Daniel – Reflex in Amsterdam, addresses the relations of man and animal, which create a mysterious images of their integration. “Bird sanctuary” (the Asylum of the Birds) is the last published project. This time dedicated to birds and people living with them. A special, instead of wondering “I Fink U Krauts”, photos taken in the implementation of the movie Die Antwoord, which saw on Youtube already 60 000 000 viewers.
The Prague exhibition titled “Roger Ballen's Shadowland 1982-2014” is a retrospective exhibition, which has been on display in many cities of Europe and his most recent project. Is a cross-section of his lifelong work and one of the most representative selections of his photos.
Ballen's artistic creation, on the one hand, provoking, on the other hand soothing. The pediment of the us from a world of constant hustle and bustle and return us back to ourselves, to the world of living creatures. His photographs are not easy to understand, but it is almost impossible not to love about them.
|Dresie and Casie, Twins, Western Transvaal, Platteland, 1993.|
|Tommy, Samson and a Mask, Outland, 2000|
|Factory worker holding portrait of grandfather, Outland, 1996.|
|Untitled (doll taped to wall), Outland, 1996.|
|Boy with guns, Platteland, 1986.|
|Man shaving on verandah, Platteland, 1986.|
|Partytime, Outland, 1998.|
|Brian with Pet Pig, Outland, 1998.|
|Cat catcher, Outland, 1998.|
|Elias Coming Out From Under John's Bed, Outland, 1998|
|Hanging Pig, Shadow Chamber, 2001|
|Head inside shirt, Shadow Chamber, 2001|
|Loner, Shadow Chamber, 2001|
|Bent Back, Shadow Chamber, 2001.|