Separated into four parts, Ballenesque takes readers on a visual, chronological journey through Roger Ballen’s entire oeuvre, including both iconic images and previously unpublished photographs.
Part I explores his formative artistic influences and his later rediscovery of boyhood through photography, culminating in his first published monograph, Boyhood, in 1979. Part II then charts the period between 1980 and 2000, during which time his deeper search for the elemental self found its way into the ‘Dorps’, or small towns, of South Africa and concluding with the release of his seminal monograph Outland. Part III covers the years 2000–2013, when Ballen achieved global recogition with Shadow Chamber and Boarding House and his work began to veer away from portraiture altogether. Finally, in Part IV, Ballen reflects upon his career in its entirety.
Roger Ballen is an American-born photographer who has lived and worked in South Africa since the 1970s. His previous award-winning books include Platteland (1994), Outland (2001), Shadow Chamber (2005), Boarding House (2009), Asylum of the Birds (2014) and The Theatre of Apparitions (2016). Ballen’s photographs are collected by some of the most important institutions in the world and he has won numerous prestigious awards in photography and filmmaking. Robert J. C. Young is a British postcolonial theorist, cultural critic and historian. He is currently the Dean of Arts and Humanities at New York University Abu Dhabi.