The Sozzani Foundation presents the exhibition "The Body, the Mind, the Space" by Roger Ballen , fifty photographs from the seventies to today, a video and a site-specific installation.
Rogen Ballen is one of the most important and original contemporary photographers, who investigates the invisible with often disturbing images, suspended in a space between painting , drawing , installation and photography .
American by birth, he has lived in South Africa since 1982. Over the past thirty years he has developed a distinctive style in photography with a simple square format in black and white. In his first works the link with the tradition of documentary photography is evident but in the 90s he developed his own language which he describes as “Ballenesque”, which became immediately recognizable in the art world.
Ballen creates photographs on the border between reality and imagination. "Reality is a word that has no meaning to me. It is unfathomable. I prefer to express the mystery of this world rather than reflect on its fundamental nature."
The exhibition at the Sozzani Foundation is developed in three themes.
Ballen's black and white photographs are powerful psychological portraits, which deeply scrutinize the human condition, his characters acting in an absurd framework, creating images that are deep and enigmatic to the same extent.
Fossil-like facial shapes and dismembered body parts coexist uncomfortably with each other with evanescent, ghost-like shadows. “As my work progressed, it became increasingly clear to me that the images were psychological by nature, because they were born from my deepest imagery. It is a difficult place to reach, it took me a long time not only to get there, but also to define it visually. "
The mysterious cell-like rooms in Ballen's photographs are real, yet disturbing, strange and illogical places. The walls are covered with scribbled drawings, stains and cables hanging in the void: the floors are littered with props and bizarre artifacts. The space altered by drawn and sculptural elements reveals the active collaboration between the artist and his subjects.