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Boogie Woogie Images : Roger Ballen & Andrew Luk : Zodiac

The Chinese Zodiac is represented by twelve animals.
In purchase, they are: the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig…
This exhibition showcases twelve of Roger Ballen’s pictures. in black & white or color, every single animal is represented.
In an echo of Walker Evans’s documentary portraits of 1930s despair-period farmers in the North American dustbowl, Roger Ballen’s pictures from the early 1980s chronicle the weak,  marginalized white people of the dorps – compact villages in the platteland of South Africa – who had at the time been beneficiaries of Apartheid but were confronted by financial spoil.
These kinds of figures seemed to categorical realities and interactions for which no words straight away sprang to mind like the artwork brut that Ballen experienced encountered as a scholar in the US, both their life and the pictures of them selves that they unconsciously produced, transcended any “polite” concept of society and fell as an alternative into unsettling archaic patterns and archetypes that experienced no clear boundaries or meanings.
Out of this, an important strategy emerged: humanity was an integral section of the purely natural earth and was not always excellent to the relaxation of it.
Because that time, Ballen has concentrated on producing pictures even further, drawing inspiration for his films and installations from his activities of isolated minorities in urbandistricts.
In these kinds of chaotic, claustrophobic areas he finds synergy with individuals who, for numerous good reasons, have turned down social conventions to generate isolated cultural types of their own.
For him, this approach is a important part of the excavation, discovery, and expression of a hardly mindful parallel existence which at some level he – and we all – share.
For Ballen, the frequently tense, or destructive, intimacy between animals and humanity, with their diverse behavioural and environmental needs, contributes to a considerably broader ecology, portion of a cosmology or holistic process of currently being.
This has offered an inspiration for his shortly-to-be-opened Inside of Out Centre for the Arts in Johannesburg wherever many of his new installations, set alongside past photos and films, emphasis on the existential impression of art not only for persons in particular societies, or continents, but also for us collectively, throughout the complete planet.

David Elliott, Author and curator.


Roger Ballen & Andrew Luk: Zodiac
2 April right until 7 May 2022, by appointment only.
The Loft, E.Wah manufacturing unit Bldg,
Wang Chuk Cling, Hong Kong.