Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
Roger Ballen, Loner, silver gelatin,  40 x40cm
Roger Ballen, Loner
2007 Featured Exhibition

Roger Ballen
Shadow Chamber

May 10–June 10, 2007
Clint Roenisch Gallery
190 St. Helens Ave

Roger Ballen was born in New York in 1950 and has
spent the last thirty years in South Africa.
Beginning by documenting the small dorps or
villages of rural South Africa, Roger Ballen’s
photography
moved on in the late 1980s to focus on their
inhabitants. By the mid-1990s his principal
subjects were members of the white underclass of
South Africa, a marginalized group that is rarely
thought to exist. Ballen’s images of these
disaffiliated people
moved into a more collaborative, constructed
effort between
subject and photographer. Previously his pictures,
however
troubling, fell firmly into the category of
documentary
photography.

Shadow Chamber, published by Phaidon
Press in 2005, focuses on the interactions
between the
people, animals and/or objects inhabiting Ballen’s
uniquely
built image
space. His images are painterly and sculptural in
ways not
immediately associated with photographs.
References to
the stage sets and characters of Beckett plays
and to the
painted cages and fleshy torments of Francis
Bacon paintings
abound in Ballen’s own claustrophobic,
psychologically
charged scenes. Sebastian Smee has written
that “Ballen’s
photographs confront us with things we fear and
things
we cherish, then sow confusion between the
two.”

Scotiabank CONTACT
Photography Festival

80 Spadina Ave Suite 205
Toronto ON M5V 2J4
Gallery Hours
Tue-Fri 11am–5pm
The CONTACT Gallery
is wheelchair accessible.