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"Roger Ballen: Photographs"
2002-12-05 until 2003-02-16
Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (MCASD)
San Diego, CA, USA United States of America

Roger Ballen, a native New Yorker who has lived in South Africa since the 1970s, creates startling, confrontational, and intensely personal photographs. Blurring the boundaries between documentary photography and constructed installations, Ballenís art confounds expectation and challenges assumptions about the medium, his subjects, and the role of the photographer. Roger Ballen: Photographs presents a survey of the artistís photography, from his early architectural images made in the tradition of Walker Evans to his recent staged tableaus of rural denizens.

These portraits of forgotten civil servants, their children, maids, and pets are studies of the degradation and failure of apartheid. Shot with a direct flash his poor white subjects, their personalities and their flaws, are depicted in stark relief set against the walls of their homes. Devoid of political correctness or sympathy, Ballenís portraits expose political and social realities often ignored in contemporary South Africa. Roger Ballen: Photographs was organized by MCASD and will travel to the Berkeley Museum of Art and other venues in the United States.

This exhibition is made possible thanks to the annual contributions of stART Up, MCASDs support group of young professionals. Additional support is provided by grants from the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the California Arts Council.

IMAGE:
Roger Ballen†: Dresie and Casie, Twins, Western Transvaal, 1993,
Selenium Toned Photograph on Ilford Multi Grade Paper,
SHEET: 15 ĺ X 15 ĺ INCHES;
IMAGE: 14 X 14 ľ INCHES,
COURTESY OF THE ARTIST.


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