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Roger Ballen Photography

15 October - 15 November 2004
The Stroganov Palace

This is the first ever exhibition of the famous American photographer Roger Ballen in Russia. In 2002 Roger Ballen won the title of "Photographer of the Year"; in 2001 his book of photographs Outland was awarded the prize as the "Best Photographic Book of the Year" at PhotoEspana, Madrid. His oeuvre is well-known in the USA, Europe and South Africa. The works shown were carefully chosen by the author especially for his exhibition in St. Petersburg. Roger Ballen's photographs fully reveal his oeuvre, comprising both documentary and artistic features, realism and fiction. With his camera, Roger Ballen creates a black-and-white world of his own, a world inhibited by unusual people, inadequate in their behaviour and their relationship with each other. The artist combines his photographs in albums and books, although each of them can exist separately. His albums are: Dorps, Small Towns of South Africa (1986), Platteland, Images from Rural South Africa (1994). Roger Ballen tells of the life of the impoverished groups of locals, the "whites" and the "blacks". This is a world of lonely and reserved people who have lost all hope and are inwardly horror-stricken. The photographer's portraits are of great interest. Roger Ballen often introduces animals into his compositions. In his latest album, Outland, released in 2001, man and his passions are only indirectly present in the world of object installations. The artist explains: "You are looking at an abstraction from reality that I have transformed. It is me that you are seeing, my interiority as much as the subject out there."