Redeye Programme

Roger Ballen Masterclass

1 April 2012, 10:00 - 17:00
Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3JL, United Kingdom


Redeye and Manchester Art Gallery are very pleased to present a talk and masterclass by one of the great photographers of his generation, Roger Ballen. They coincide with the launch of a major exhibition at the gallery, Shadow Land, exploring three decades of his career, charting the evolution of his unique photographic style and demonstrating the contribution he has made to contemporary photography. The exhibition runs from 30 March to 13 May 2012.

(For details of the accompanying talk by Roger Ballen, click here.)

About Roger Ballen

In his work from the early 1980s to mid 90s Roger Ballen gained world recognition and critical acclaim with his powerful and controversial images of those living on the margins of South African society. Although retaining the same distinctive aesthetic, (all his work is in black and white, square format) in the last decade his work has evolved into a style he describes as "documentary fiction" where the line between reality and fantasy is deliberately blurred. In doing so, his work enters into a new realm of photography; the images are painterly and sculptural in ways not immediately associated with photography.

"Roger Ballen's new photographs are haunting additions to what we know and experience. They also, technically, modify the relations between fine art and photography and between the camera and its subject. In both ways, their value is in creating possibilities of seeing, expressing and making. They add to the genetic pool of opportunity, understanding and feeling. This is exhilarating, though it may seem paradoxical that the work itself is bleakly austere. But then, we don't just extend ourselves by wearing big smiles."
Robert Greig, Sunday Independent - South Africa

"In many ways, I'm calm and methodical. But in a deep place I'm trying to find ways of defining things. I'm 60 now and I'm in good health and I try to keep myself fit, but 60 is not 20 and my mind knows this. You can't fool the mind and mine is brooding. I'm trying to figure out how all this happened, and what it's all about. I always go back to these same questions and photography is the best way I've come up with to try to deal with these issues. It takes me further than anything else I do."
Roger Ballen, from an interview with Robert Enright for Mois de la Photo

Masterclass details

The masterclass gives a small group the very rare chance to explore with Roger Ballen his work in greater depth, and learn about the creative, technical and business skills that have propelled his career.

Additionally, a limited number of participants will be able to show their own work for discussion by Roger and the group. If you would like to show your work, please choose that option when you book your ticket, and you'll receive more info.

The masterclass runs from 10:00 to 17:00, Sunday 1 April 2012, at Manchester Art Gallery. Note that the building opens at 10:00 so please arrive promptly for a start soon after 10:00.

Please note that a free seat at the Saturday talk (14:00 on 31 March 2012) is reserved for all masterclass attendees, and you are strongly recommended to attend that as well. When you register for the masterclass you will be asked if you also plan to attend the talk.

The day is recommended for serious and developing photographers at any level. The attendance will be limited to 20, with 10 able to present their own work (first come first served).

Masterclass ticket prices, with talk included:
Standard ticket £95
Concession (student or unwaged) £82.50
Redeye member £70

To buy Redeye member tickets, please first log in as a paid Redeye member; or if you would like to become a member and take advantage of the cheaper price, visit the Join page.

Image: Prowling 2001; Roger Ballen. Courtesy of the artist and Hamilton's Gallery, London.

Roger Ballen's website.