“For me, my work has always been psychological in nature,” said photographer Roger Ballen as he picked his way through the interior of a crumbling house packed with his creations in the heart of Arles this summer. “Something that is very important to me is that my photographs elicit a response from the deepest subconscious mind…and then ultimately have an effect on memory and how the mind functions in some obscure way.”

This video was shot at The House of the Ballenesque, a large-scale installation that Ballen put together at Les Rencontres d’Arles this past summer. Follow Ballen as he walks through the space, sharing his insights into the purpose of creative production and his own labyrinthine mind.

In both his still images (and now larger constructions), Ballen’s work offers a deeply psychological exploration of the connection between the artist’s subconscious and the viewer’s. His output, which lately occupies a space across media (including components of drawing, sound, and video, as well as traditional black-and-white photographic techniques), serves as a multi-faceted channel for self-exploration.


Editors’ note: Ballen recently published a book called Ballenesque (Thames & Hudson) that traces an even deeper journey into the artist’s mind and memory through a chronological tour of his past work. Ballen wrote a series of texts specifically for the book, creating another means of access for readers to learn more about his career and projects. If you’re interested, you can learn more on Ballen’s website.

The House of the Ballenesque was on view at Les Rencontres d’Arles from July 3-September 24, 2017.