1000 Words announces its fourth workshop. Following successes with Antoine d’Agata, Anders Petersen andErik Kessels we are proud to present Roger Ballen as the workshop leader for the next retreat in Fez, Morocco (5-9 May 2012).
“Somebody said my pictures are diamonds but they are diamonds with charcoal and carbon inside. What’s going on in the interior of that world is breakdown and chaos, but there is affection on the formal side. You constantly have to deal with these contradictions. They cause ambiguity, which is an important part of my art.” Roger Ballen
Like most great artist-photographers Roger Ballen’s work is hard to define. Drawn from the documentary genre, Ballen has developed an approach all of his own. His photographs are complex tableaux of surreal and disturbing visions that attempt to reflect his own psyche, which he regards as revealing his existential journey in life. Focussing on the interactions between people, animals and objects that inhabit rooms – rooms that are typically squalid, their walls covered with scribbled drawings, stains and wire; their floors strewn with bizarre props and artefacts – Ballen stages unsettling scenarios that chafe on our subconscious.
Born in New York in 1950, Ballen has lived in Johannesburg, South Africa since the 1970’s. His work has been exhibited in many important institutions throughout the world and is housed in numerous museum collections including Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Centre George Pompidou in Paris. Ballen is represented by the Gagosian Gallery, Stills Gallery and Gallery Xavier Hufkens S.A. His books have received critical acclaim such as Platteland: Images from Rural South Africa (1994), Outland (2001), Shadow Chamber (2005) and his latest series Boarding House (2009).
ABOUT 1000 Words:
The organisation’s flagship is 1000 Words, an online magazine dedicated to contemporary photography in the UK and beyond. It reviews exhibitions and photobooks and publishes interviews, essays and multimedia. We are committed to showing the work of lesser-known but significant photographers alongside that of established practitioners in the aim of bringing their work to a wider audience. Often incredibly diverse in terms of subjects, concepts, styles and techniques whilst always foregrounding the subjectivity of documentary art photography, 1000 Words intends to explore the limits and possibilities of the medium.