Alexander Bar & Theatre, 7 Strand Street, Cape Town
Sunday 11 December 2016 at 4pm
Join artist Roger Ballen, one of the most original image-makers of our times, as he takes us deep into his photographic psychodrama at the launch of his latest publication The Theatre of Apparitions (Thames & Hudson).
The evening will include a presentation by Ballen titled The Theatre of the Mind, acclaimed when it was first presented in New York and Toronto in October 2016.
Ballen’s talk will be accompanied by a screening of his most recent short film Roger Ballen’s Theatre of Apparitions and will be followed by a signing of his new book. Light snacks will be provided.
Pre-orders of The Theatre of Apparitions are available through the venue website at a special rate; copies will also be on sale on the night.
Always seeking to push the boundaries of photographic practice Ballen has created an aesthetic and artistic vision unlike any other contemporary photographer. The Theatre of Apparitions is his ground breaking new monograph of timeless and innovative, earthly and otherworldly images.
Inspired by the sight of hand-drawn carvings on blacked-out windows in an abandoned women’s prison, Ballen started to experiment using different spray paints on glass and then ‘drawing on’ or removing the paint with a sharp object to let natural light through. The results are like prehistoric cave-paintings. Fossil-like facial forms and dismembered body parts coexist uncomfortably with vaporous, ghost-like shadows – these images have the capacity to shock, inspire, amuse and even elate viewers.
With a career spanning over four decades, Ballen is best known for his psychologically powerful and masterfully composed images that exist in a space between painting, drawing, installation and photography. The Theatre of Apparitions is both a departure from his existing oeuvre and the culmination of his unique aesthetic linking image-making and theatrical performance. These Ballenesque images take readers on a journey, deep into the subconscious.