Asylum of the Birds

Front Cover
Thames & Hudson, 2014 - Photography - 144 pages
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Roger Ballen is one of the most original image makers of the twenty-first century. Asylum of the Birds showcases his iconic photographs, which were all taken entirely within the confines of a house in a Johannesburg suburb, the location of which remains a tightly guarded secret. The inhabitants of the house, both people and animals, and most notably the ever-present birds, are the cast who perform within a sculptural and decorated theatrical interior that the author creates and 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.

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About the author (2014)

Roger Ballen is an award-winning American photographer who has lived and worked in South Africa since the 1970s. His previous books include The Theatre of Apparitions, Asylum of the Birds, Outland, Shadow Chamber, and Boarding House.

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