Hamiltons presents Roger Ballen’s most recent and highly anticipated body of work The Theatre of Apparitions for the first time as a series. In true Ballenesque style, the series takes the reader on a journey into their subconscious. Ballen’s choice of title is to convey the theatrical mechanics in which mental forms of life – dreams, the imagination and memories – act out on stage for the psyche.
Ballen was inspired by hand-drawn carvings he saw on blacked-out windows in an abandoned women’s prison, where a prisoner had drawn figures into the black paint leaving herself with nothing but the dim light and stark walls. This led to Ballen’s own experimentation with spray paints on glass, on which Ballen would then either draw on or remove the paint from to let light through, resulting in otherworldly, pre-historic-like cave paintings. Like the unconscious, these drawings are timeless. The black, dimensionless spaces on the glass are canvases for Ballen’s thoughts to be carved.