Against a wall, stuffed hyenas chase grotesque mannequins, who try to escape by ropes. Behind a disturbing merry-go-round, a dominating lioness hampers a hunter curled up on his rifle, while another seems to be wandering around the museum, held back by a convict's ball. The exhibition "End of the Game" (a play on words: the end of the game / the end of the game) imagined by the photographer Roger Ballen is not limited to photography, and immediately places the visitor at the heart of the power struggle between man and animal. With items found at fleas, stuffed animals, historical objects and his own photographs, the immersion is immediate and disconcerting. "The goal is to open the discussion," he explains. “A lot of South Africans don't have access to art, so I want everyone to be able to get something out of this place. »
The brand new Inside Out Center for the Arts museum is just like its creator: raw concrete, direct, and sometimes disturbing. Roger Ballen, 72 years old today and established since the 1980s in Johannesburg, has made a name for himself over the past 50 years with his black and white documentary series, and his artistic photographs of art brut, theater of the absurd or the grotesque.
The centre's inaugural exhibition, created by the photographer, is not missing, with its often disturbing stagings: heads of Impalas and Kudus piled up in a telephone booth, mannequin with a rat's head, feet of elephants and rhinos... Dedicated to the great hunting expeditions that ravaged the continent's wildlife, it is called "End of the Game", in reference to the emblematic book of the same name by photographer Peter Beard, published in 1965 and also devoted to the disappearance continental animals.
* "End of the Game" by Roger Gallen starting March 28, 2023 at the Inside Out Center for the Arts. For more information: www.insideoutcenterforthearts.com / Instagram: @insideoutcentre / Facebook: Inside Out Center for the Arts.