January 19, 2017


SEDALIA—An exhibition of 40 midsized black-and-white photographs by Roger Ballen will open at 11 a.m. Jan. 28 at the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art on the State Fair Community College Sedalia campus. The exhibit will remain on view through May 28.

The photographs, dating from 2003 to 2013, were all taken inside a makeshift house on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa. The inhabitants of the house, both people and animals, are the cast who perform within a theatrical interior that Ballen creates and orchestrates. The resulting images are layered with graffiti, drawings, animals, and found objects that blur the line between fantasy and reality, a quality Ballen has described as “documentary fiction.”

Born in New York City in 1950, Ballen has lived and worked in Johannesburg for almost 30 years. Since 1982 he has produced many series of works that have evolved from photojournalism to a unique artistic vision. His work has been shown throughout the world and is represented in many museum collections, including Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; and Museum of Modern Art, New York City.

As a complement to Ballen’s exhibit, 20 prints from the Daum’s permanent collection of more than 700 photographs have been selected for display to illustrate ideas related to the existential surreality of Ballen’s oeuvre. The exhibition Shadowland explores the twilight, where shadows help portray ambivalence, mystery and psychological richness. The works in the exhibition are by 13 artists, including Gilbert Fastenaekens, Linda Connor, Emmit Gowin, and Deanna Dikeman, and date from 1968 to 2012. Subject matter ranges from Fastenaekens’ urban landscapes at night and Connor’s use of twilight’s blur to Dikeman’s nostalgic illumination of her aged parents.

Roger Ballen: Asylum of the Birds is organized by Curatorial Assistance Traveling Exhibitions, Pasadena, California. The exhibition is presented at the Daum with funding from Barbara Schrader, season underwriter; Mrs. Katherine Menefee, season underwriter; Mr. and Mrs. James O. Cooney, exhibition sponsors; Steve Ellebracht, exhibition sponsor; Joseph Fischer and Gloria Angel, exhibition sponsors; and Sylvia L. Thompson, exhibition sponsor. All programs are supported by SFCC and Daum Museum of Contemporary Art members.

Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free. For more information, call (660) 530-5888 or visit the website at www.daummuseum.org.