This April Galeria Senda presents the recent project from Roger Ballen : “Roger the Rat”.
It consists of a series of black and white photographs produced in Johannesburg between 2015 and 2020 followed by a 25 minute film conceived and realized during the lockdown period. In these images, Roger Ballen documented a part-human, part-rat creature who lives an isolated life outside of mainstream society. Roger the Rat, gives expression to the corroding effects of loneliness, seclusion and uncomfortable suffocation in confined spaces afflicted on the human psyche as a consequence of the pandemic. It’s the absurd and deeply peculiar actions of the main protagonist, that elicit a universal identification and empathy with the hidden forces which plummeted the human psyche during the arduous time.
Son of a photograph editor at Magnum, Ballén has worked as a geologist and mine consultant before launching his own photographic career, documenting small towns in rural Africa and their isolated inhabitants. Their images are, at the same time, powerful social allegations and disturbing psychological studies. Ballen’s work“Outland” was considered one of the most extraordinary photographical documents at the end of the XX century. It was awarded Best Photographic Book of the Year at PhotoEspaña 2001 in Madrid. His distinguished photographic style has evolved using simply a square format and a black and white color scheme. His first works have a clear influence of documental photography, but during the 90’s, he developed a style that he described as “fiction documental”.
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