Thursday, 26 June 2008

"Before there was Ballen"-A special Presentation by Chas Bowie this Saturday at Quality Pictures, 10am

©Roger Ballen

The former Arts Editor at the Portland Mercury and frequent contributor to numerous publications about art and photography, Chas Bowie will be presenting his slide-show gallery talk in conjunction with the closing of Roger Ballen´s exhibition this Saturday at Quality Pictures Contemporary Art. If the content of his amazing blog on photography, That's a Negative is anything to go by, this should make for a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Given that it is free there really is no excuse to miss this one if you are a Portland resident so RSVP to as space is limited.

Here is a teaser of what to expect from Chas:

“Although Roger Ballen's disquieting scenes of ambiguous, psychological tableaux look unlike any photography being produced today, Bowie will present historical photographs-both celebrated and obscure-to demonstrate what he calls "Roger Ballen's spiritual and aesthetic ancestry." Drawing from startling and evocative images from the past 150 years, "Before There Was Ballen" will explore photographic pioneers who sought to capture the tensions of insanity, theatricality, the grotesque, spontaneity, power relationships, animal interaction, and classical portraiture with their cameras.”

“The photographs Bowie plans to discuss include wide-ranging examples such as a remarkably formal abstraction by Roger Fenton of the queen's rifle target from 1860; Ralph Eugene Meatyard's hallucinatory compositions of children posing in latex masks of elderly, shriveled people 100 years later; archival portraits of 19th century zookeepers posing with their animal charges; and photo documentation of the female inmates of the Surrey County Lunatic Asylum from the 1850s.”
For those of you like me who sadly won´t be able to go, make sure you stop by his aforementioned blog, That´s a Negative which features a great selection of meaty critical essays and photography reviews to sink your teeth into. It really is such a great online publication that it must be added to your reader if, for some strange reason, it isn´t already!