The Theatre of Apparitions by Roger Ballen
published by Thames and Hudson
available at Fondazione Sozzani Bookshop.
Separated into seven chapters or “acts” the book
is a treat of Ballenesque images taking readers on a deep journey into their subconscious.
Inspired by the sight of hand-drawn carvings on blacked-out windows in an abandoned women’s prison,
Roger Ballen started to experiment using different spray paints on glass
and then ‘drawing on’ or removing the paint with a sharp object to let natural light through.
The results are like prehistoric cave-paintings:
the black, dimensionless spaces on the glass are canvases onto which Ballen carves his thoughts and emotions.
Fossil-like facial forms and dismembered body parts coexist uncomfortably
with vaporous, ghost-like shadows. Earthly and otherworldly, physical and spiritual,
his work transcends all traditional concepts of photography.