Unleashed: Roger Ballen and Hans LemmenExhibition
March 7, 2017 to June 4, 2017
At Musée de la chasse et de la nature
Roger Ballen, a major international photographer, and Hans Lemmen, an artist inspired by the representation of nature, come together for a disturbingly exquisite collaboration for the latest exhibition at Musée de la chasse et de la nature, Paris.
Hans Lemmen, working in the Netherlands, reduces Roger Ballen’s photographs to simple fragments. He then completes the resulting pieces or inserts them into his graphic compositions. Thousands of kilometres away, Roger Ballen incorporates Hans Lemmen’s drawings in an installation in turn intended to be photographed.
Ballen, since moving to South Africa, has been exploring political and psychological questions surrounding the mankind and its relationship with nature in his images. His work expresses the absurdity of human condition. The images of those who have been left behind, who pose for the camera, are so many self-portraits as if, in their poverty, Ballen’s models hold up a mirror that reflects the dark side of the photographer himself. They explore the worrying and uncertain morphology of his psyche.
On the other hand, artist Hans Lemmen explores the imaginary territory where man and animal mix. Fascinated since childhood by the footprints left by our ancestors. Lemman’s work reminisces of the time when man did not have to live as if he were external to nature. Through a certain artistic primitivism, he denounces the suffering of the earth and of living species battered by modernity.
The exhibition at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature offers an opportunity to follow the creative process of these two artists. The artists themselves, represented by two life-size seated figures with the eyes of animals, welcome visitors through an installation they created jointly. They sit in the first room, accompanied by their pets and surrounded by contemporary parietal art: an illustration that runs along the four walls and across the floor of the room. The second part of the exhibition, devoted to personal and individual work, precedes the unpublished graphic works born of the collaboration between Ballen and Lemmen, on the principle of inclusion and reciprocal borrowing. To conclude the exhibition, a video documenting the production of these works, so foreign to their respective practices, shows how art thrives on constraints such as those defined here.
The exhibition is co-produced by the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht where it will be shown in 2018.
Musée de la chasse et de la nature