Asylum of the Birds by Roger Ballen. First edition, first impression. Large format hardback. In new condition. Flat signed by Roger Ballen to title page. No markings. This is a new book. Dust jacket in removable protective sleeve.
About Asylum of the Birds
Asylum of the Birds is a monograph that collects Ballen's iconic photographs, which were taken entirely in a house in a suburb in Johannesburg. However, the location of this house remains a secret. In the images, we see the inhabitants of the house, both people and animals and of course, the ever-present birds. All of them are posed and propped in a theatrical way that Ballen orchestrates. The resulting images are compelling and dynamic, existing somewhere between still life and portrait. They are richly layered with graffiti, drawings, animals, and found objects. In a world where photographers seek to avoid definition, Roger Ballen is a true original who not only defies genres, but has defined his own artistic space as well.
About Roger Ballen
One of the most influential and important photographic artists of the 21st century, Roger Ballen’s photographs span over forty years. His strange and extreme works confront the viewer and challenge them to come with him on a journey into their own minds as he explores the deeper recesses of his own. Roger Ballen was born in New York in 1950 but for over 30 years he has lived and worked in South Africa. His work as a geologist took him out into the countryside and led him to take up his camera and explore the hidden world of small South African towns.
At first he explored the empty streets in the glare of the midday sun but, once he had made the step of knocking on people’s doors, he discovered a world inside these houses which was to have a profound effect on his work. These interiors with their distinctive collections of objects and the occupants within these closed worlds took his unique vision on a path from social critique to the creation of metaphors for the inner mind. After 1994 he no longer looked to the countryside for his subject matter finding it closer to home in Johannesburg.
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