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Two of art’s most-warped minds collab on a new photo book

Roger Ballen and Asger Carlsen discuss a sinister new collaborative project that distorts the human body and pierces the psyche


By collaging bodies and deformed body parts, animals and cadavers, wooden prostheses and melting constructs, artists Roger Ballen and Asger Carlsen have created a series of twisted and hard to define artworks, resulting in the book titled No Joke. With an age difference of 23 years between the two, Ballen living in Johannesburg and Carlsen in China Town, NYC, it’s a collaboration of distance. But after being paired by Vice for a project in 2013, Roger and Asger discovered the similarities in their approach to their work. Sharing a deep interest in the dark corners of the psyche and the human condition, the two began exchanging ideas and digital files through email and Skype. This continued for several years. In each step the artworks are changed, expanded, enriched with new layers and oversubscribed, eventually turning into enigmatic photo collages that combine advanced digital image editing with analogue techniques of cutting, collage and drawing. The creepy intimacy of the spaces they depict is hinted at by the elements that circumscribe them: there are no windows, and the walls are hung with fabrics, blinds, and pictures. Lateral wood panels and pieces of furniture or beds often add to the sense of confinement. Read The Article on Dazed


V1 Gallery

Dittrich & Schlechtriem Gallery

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