School of Photographic Arts Ottawa (SPAO) Talk by Rivers

The School of Photographic Arts: Ottawa (SPAO) hosted a programming event tonight as a part of its “Roger Ballen: There Is No Outside" exhibition. Afield co-director Patrick Lynn Rivers offered a provocation titled “Is Roger Ballen Off the Wall?” as part of the event.

In addition to Rivers, the panel offering provocations included the feted South African-Canadian artist Jennifer Dickson, art historian and curator Charles Reeve of the Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCADU), and Monica Patterson of Carleton University’s Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Based in South Africa, and born in the United States, Ballen is most famous for his images of poor Afrikaners in the South African countryside. Ballen’s images, particularly ones from the mid-1980s to mid-1990s published in his Platteland (1994) book, helped to explode the lie that was apartheid’s white supremacist claims about whiteness itself.