Roger Ballen: Boarding House
Jackson Fine Art is pleased to announce our upcoming exhibitions with Roger Ballen and Angela West. In their featured collections, Boarding House and Trigger, Ballen and West investigate notions of stasis, offering up collections that transform the inanimate into the dynamic.
With Boarding House, Roger Ballen accentuates the peripatetic nature of consciousness, anchoring it in a Dickensian world and focusing on a string of non-sequitors that are at once grotesque and comfortable. His small, square, black-and-white format photographs conflate various planes of the human psyche into a single image, subverting any individual desire to partition dreaming and waking life. When creating the work collected in Boarding House, Ballen collaborated with the residents of a Johannesburg warehouse. The result is a series reflecting both an exaggerated theatricality and precision of composition and echoes of his subjects' lived experiences. Utilizing these labyrinthine living quarters, where rooms open into other spaces with only a scrawled-upon rug or an oxidized scrap of metal to distinguish them, Ballen composes images of boundless depth and complexity. Subjects and objects, often functioning identically, emerge within each frame almost silently. In Boarding House, the assumed center of each tableau only signals that there is more to explore, entreating the viewer to work toward gleaning some wisdom from the interrogation of apparent darkness.