NEW EYES FOR ANCIENT SIGHTS
For a photographer, talk about photography may at times sound pretentious or even presumptuous. A form of love toward those who dedicate their life to this part, however, obliges me to speak of a great photographer with an unusual vision, Roger Ballen. Observing and investigating reality through his magnificent images makes us feel uncomfortable at first. Then the love for his subjects intervenes, characterised by an insolent and unusual beauty. The relationship he manages to create between subject and object characterises his sublime iconic art. While observing Ballen and his photos we wonder if fiction has been raised to the level of the real through his lens, or if reality has been confused and transformed into fiction. Not that this doubt about what his photography represents seems to have any real importance for Ballen, a photographer who, as an American citizen, has chosen to live in South Africa to preserve a more intimate relationship with his world. I rarely find myself wishing that someone else's photography had been shot by me – with him it happens often. In summary, we can say that his photography seems the same photos taken infinitely. If I were an art critic I would call this quality a “creative obsession”. Which in the end is what I love about him. But I prefer for you to admire his images, which are certainly worth more than banal words.