Roger Ballen

Asylum of the Birds
April 1—April 24, 2016

James Fuentes is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Roger Ballen. The renowned photographer began over three decades ago documenting the rich social infrastructure of South Africa. His recent work, however, borders on abstraction and explores the materiality of the body through texture and light. Dominated by surreal mindscapes and cerebral still lives, he has become one of the most well-known voices within contemporary photography.

Presented within the gallery is Ballen’s recent series Asylum of the Birds (2014). In images taken entirely within the confines of a house in a Johannesburg suburb, the location of which remains a tightly guarded secret, Ballen captures both animals and people in his illustrious black and white photographs. Those that dwell within the house, most notably the ever-present birds, perform within a sculptural and theatrical interior that the author creates and orchestrates. Arranged in Ballens familiar language of dark, psychological sceneries, the photographs again mingle truth with fiction by creating a murky place that lies at the center of the earth, of life, of the human being.

Roger Ballen (b. 1950, New York, NY) has had recent solo exhibitions at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC, USA (2013), Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel (2012), Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janiero, Brazil (2012), Gagosian Gallery, New York, USA (2009). Recent group exhibitions include presentations at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, (2015), Samara Art Museum, Russia (2014), National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, (2012), the International Centre of Photography, New York, (2012). A survey of Asylum of the Birds was published by Thames and Hudson in 2014. Roger Ballen is in collections including; Tate Britain, London, Pompidou, Paris, and Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Press Release

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