Back to All Events

Roger Ballen Photography at the Chazen


Roger Ballen (b. 1950 in New York, active in South Africa), Muscleman and Ninja, 2012, photograph, 11 x 13 3/4 in., courtesy Roger Ballen

Roger Ballen (b. 1950 in New York, active in South Africa), Muscleman and Ninja, 2012, photograph, 11 x 13 3/4 in., courtesy Roger Ballen

Internationally acclaimed photographer Roger Ballen will visit the Chazen Thursday, Oct. 1 to deliver a lecture, sign his books and celebrate his exhibition, Roger Ballen Photography.

Ballen is one of the most original image makers of the twenty-first century. The exhibition, on view through Nov. 1, features recent black-and-white photographs from Asylum of the Birds (2014, Thames & Hudson) and I Fink U Freeky (2013, Prestel), photographed at a compound near Johannesburg. The location of the “asylum” remains a tightly guarded secret, but Ballen says its inhabitants include refugees, escaped prisoners and mental patients, and drifters who come and go. The images are orchestrated by Ballen with stage sets of graffiti, drawings, animals dead and alive, random scraps and found objects, and populated (sort of) by the human and avian inhabitants. The resulting images are intriguing and disturbing. The images from I Fink U Freeky were created in collaboration with—and feature—the South African punk rap group Die Antwoord. 

On Oct. 29, Patrick A. Rumble, Professor, Dept. of French and Italian and Visual Culture Studies, UW–Madison, will lecture on Ballen's work.

For more details, browse over to the Chazen web site.