Galerie Karsten Greve presents a comprehensive solo exhibition of works by the photographer Roger Ballen, who was born in New York in 1950, but has lived in South Africa for more than 30 years. The show focuses on his most recent series, entitled Asylum of the Birds. These photographs are taken mostly between 2008 and 2013 and capture dreamlike, nightmarish scenarios of complex symbolism. The underlying, often improvised mises-en-scène were all staged in a house on the edge of Johannesburg, using both the occupants and the animals that surrounded them as protagonists. The dirty walls, dented cartons and stained cloth drapes of the desolate interiors form the backdrop to actions that are largely performed by birds. Known since Antiquity as a symbol of the soul, the bird is deployed by Ballen too in its embodiment of an unrestrained urge to freedom in order to depict

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