To mark the publication of his much-awaited new monograph Asylum of the Birds, photographer Roger Ballen, with director Ben Crossman, has produced this psychologically powerful, unforgettable film that follows Roger into a world synonymous with his photographs, as never before seen on film.

"I’m fascinated by birds. They link the heavens to the earth…"

AmericanPhotoMag chatted with Ballen, who offered an even deeper take on the circumstances behind his eerie imagery.

Find a German interview on Spiegel Online.

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at WestLicht - Schauplatz für Fotografie, Vienna, Austria

In his pictorial world between documentary and fiction, equally disturbing and striking, Roger Ballen is one of the most idiosyncratic and distinctive photographers of his generation. Born in New York in 1950, he has been living and working in South Africa for many years. The exhibition, for the first time on display in Austria, will offer a comprehensive insight into all creative periods of the artist. (read more)

The artist understands every photograph as part of the self and hence as an extension of his own person. Photography is like a journey of discovery of his own psyche:

“The older I get the more I need to get to the source, the place where dreams originate, the source of the psyche.“ (Roger Ballen)

Exhibition dates:
Feb. 22 - Apr. 28, 2013

Find photos of the opening night here.

(c) Dieter Nagl für Westlicht - Roger Ballen - 21.02.2013

   © Dieter Nagl / WestLicht, Feb. 21, 2013 Roger Ballen, Exhibition opening, Vienna

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American photographer Roger Ballen has been living and photographing in South Africa since the late 1970s. His photographs have caused international controversy and debate ever since his book, “Platteland”, was published in the 1990s. “Platteland” was filled with raw, direct, disturbing photographs of poor white people in South Africa whose lives had been marginalized by the Apartheid government.

Since that “bombshell” of a photobook hit the scene, Ballen’s work has slowly evolved to become much more abstract and introspective (but no less disturbing). His education in psychology, and his background as a working geologist, have informed his work as much as his early childhood exposure to the work of the great Magnum photographers.

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