‘Outland’ is a collection of Roger Ballen’s work over a 20 year period, where he focused on the inhabitants of rural South Africa. Thought provoking as his photographs are, Ballen has received criticism for exploiting the vulnerability of his subjects, since a lot of them were mentally unstable. Ballen has denied the accusation, stating that everyone he photographed knew exactly what he was doing. He also claims that he has become really good friends with a lot of them ( I can’t help but be a bit skeptical here…just saying).
Outland shows his transition from a documentary photographer to an abstract one, where he transformed reality by getting his subjects to act in ways that were even more disturbing than in his previous photographs. Again, one can’t help but question his motive behind Outland, a lot of critics believed he was making fun of the mentally ill, others look at Ballen as a photographer who pushes the envelope to shed light on a situation a lot of people choose to ignore.
Thoughts on the photos below? Do share…
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