Roger Ballen's Boarding House blurs the boundaries between documentary photography and art. The images are a powerful social statement and complex psychological study - compelling and thought provoking with layers of rich detail, flashes of dark humour and an altered sense of place. These black and white images highlight greater emphasis on drawn and sculptural elements and an increasingly relevant collaboration between the artist and his subjects.
"It is difficult to explain this place except that I think it exists in some way or another in most people's mind.", Roger Ballen.
Boarding House is a journey of discovery in which we leave our ordinary selves behind and confront a primitive part of the human condition and its psyche. Whether the space is real or imaginary is indecipherable; it is a place where Ballen's subconscious and the viewer's inhibitions can occupy their own universe. Boarding House is a space of transient residence, of comings and goings, of people sheltered in a place they use for their immediate survival. Basic and fundamental, the structure is furnished with objects necessary for an elementary existence, decorated with evocative drawings, and littered throughout with animals. The altered, temporary sense of dwelling, acts as a launch pad for the imagination to run wild.