1000 WORDS WORKSHOP WITH ROGER BALLEN IN MOROCCO, MAY 2012
*26.03.12 THERE ARE STILL TWO PLACES AVAILABLE-APPLY NOW!* 1000 Words is delighted to announce its fourth workshop. Following successes with Antoine d’Agata, Anders Petersen and Erik Kessels we are proud to present Roger Ballen as the workshop leader for the next retreat in Fez, Morocco (5-9 May 2012).
“Somebody said my pictures are diamonds but they are diamonds with charcoal and carbon inside. What’s going on in the interior of that world is breakdown and chaos, but there is affection on the formal side. You constantly have to deal with these contradictions. They cause ambiguity, which is an important part of my art.” Roger Ballen
Like most great artist-photographers Roger Ballen’s work is hard to define. Drawn from the documentary genre, Ballen has developed an approach all of his own. His photographs are complex tableaux of surreal and disturbing visions that attempt to reflect his own psyche, which he regards as revealing his existential journey in life. Focussing on the interactions between people, animals and objects that inhabit rooms – rooms that are typically squalid, their walls covered with scribbled drawings, stains and wire; their floors strewn with bizarre props and artefacts – Ballen stages unsettling scenarios that chafe on our subconscious.
Born in New York in 1950, Ballen has lived in Johannesburg, South Africa since the 1970’s. His work has been exhibited in many important institutions throughout the world and is housed in numerous museum collections including Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Centre George Pompidou in Paris. Ballen is represented by the Gagosian Gallery, Stills Gallery and Gallery Xavier Hufkens S.A. His books have received critical acclaim such as Platteland: Images from Rural South Africa (1994), Outland(2001), Shadow Chamber (2005) and his latest series Boarding House(2009).
The organisation’sflagship is 1000 Words, an online magazine dedicated to contemporary photography in the UK and beyond. It reviews exhibitions and photobooks and publishes interviews, essays and multimedia. We are committed to showing the work of lesser-known but significant photographers alongside that of established practitioners in the aim of bringing their work to a wider audience. Often incredibly diverse in terms of subjects, concepts, styles and techniques whilst always foregrounding the subjectivity of documentary art photography, 1000 Words intends to explore the limits and possibilities of the medium.
Released quarterly, the magazine attracts over 140,000 unique visitors from more than 75 countries every month. In May 2010 the 1000 Words Blog was ranked at number 3 in The Top 25 UK Arts & Culture Blogs as part of a survey carried out by Creative Tourist and was also named as the winner of Arts Media Contacts’ Photography Blog of the Year Award, 2010.
Yet 1000 Words is much more than just an online magazine. It is the first step in our concept. 1000 Words also operates a programme of exhibitions and events including four annual workshops in Fez, Morocco as well as talks, portfolio reviews, prizes and awards.
1000 Words is governed by its board of directors who play an active role in the direction of the organisation. They are: Camilla Gore, Nicholas Barker, Simon Baker, Aron Morel, Louise Clements, Tim Clark, Michael Grieve and Norman Clark. The 1000 Words Workshops are organised by Tim Clark, founder and editor-in-chief at 1000 Words and Michael Grieve, 1000 Words deputy editor, senior lecturer at Nottingham Trent University and a photographer represented by Agence Vu.
ABOUT THE WORKSHOP:
The 1000 Words Workshop takes place in an authentically restored riadsituated in the medieval medina, at the heart of the beautifully evocative city of Fez, Morocco. The workshop will be an intense experience lasting five days between 5-9 May 2012 and will consist of 12 participants. The medina is a vibrant labyrinth that will permeate all the senses. Surrounded by the Atlas Mountains, it offers a visually stunning backdrop for this truly unique workshop.
We are looking for a diverse range of participants who understand the work of Roger Ballen and feel that their own art will benefit from his guidance.
The cost of the workshop will be £1250 for 5 days. Once participants have been selected they will be expected to pay a non-refundable deposit of £500 within two weeks. Participants can then pay the rest of the fee according to deadlines (see below). Participants are encouraged to arrive the day before the workshop begins for a welcome dinner. The price includes:
-tuition from Roger Ballen (including defining each participant’s project; shooting; editing sessions; creating a coherent body of work; creation of a slide show; projection of the images of the participants.)
-a welcome and farewell dinner
-lunch everyday and snacks during the afternoon
-24 hour help from the 1000 Words team and an assistant/translator with local knowledge.
Participants will be expected to make their own travel arrangements and find accommodation, which in Fez can range from £150 upwards for the week. We can advise on finding the accommodation that best suits you. Remember that most of your time will be spent either at the riad or shooting. For photographers using colour film we will provide the means for processing and a scanner. Photographers shooting digital will be expected to bring all necessary equipment. Please note that for the purposes and practicalities of a workshop, digital really is advisable. All participants should also bring a laptop if they have one. Every effort will be made to accommodate individual technical needs.
“I have had the most profoundly moving, fascinating, difficult, wonderful week of my life. Thank you 1000 Words. Words can not describe. I have been continuing with my project. It feels different here, of course. And much slower progress. But still shooting with the same or similar mindset. All connected to what I did in Morocco. Really, really missing everyone. I feel privileged, truly, to have been part of it. Have been in the countryside with my parents since getting back and finally showed my mum the slideshow, with music that had been spinning around my head. She cried.” Laura
“The Erik Kessels workshop in Fez has been a fantastic and motivational experience that I will carry with me my whole life.” Andy
“The choice of city (Fez) to develop such an educational and inspirational workshop is amazing, since the immersion begins as soon as you arrive. You are induced to leave your comfort zone and search for new references and perspectives, and given that the culture and language are so unique they also become great ingredients in this creative quest. The whole infrastructure offered during the workshop and also the specific venue where the meetings and tutorial activities took place were all part of the environment, serving to create a peaceful and harmonic atmosphere that continuously inspired us all during the workshop.” Alan
“Antoine D’Agata workshop in Fez was a mind shaking experience, and for me that was just what I needed! Antoine’s repeated question to me was, “but what do you want?” What a simple question it may seem but to truly honestly answer this was one of the hardest things. Antoine struggled with me daily to be truthful to the process of shooting and to my work. Trying to do this as a white woman in a muslim foreign country seemed scary at first. But soon enough this fear pushed me to go farther than I had before. To take more risks and be more bold. In the end, I had allowed myself to befriend men and women who were at first just strangers on the street. My once beautiful but safely intimate portraiture became more real for me, evoking not only the fear of letting myself leap in a strange place but in the process of doing so, being able to see so much more in others.
The workshop venue was such a treat and incredible place to be able to go to every day. A sanctuary to rest and to edit and collect your thoughts. A place to run into your fellow work shoppers and bounce around ideas. The food was more than I had expected and in fact pretty much the best food I ate in Morocco in my three weeks travel. Tim and Michael were so on top of the workshop; they were there managing every detail from accommodations, food, coordinating the class meetings, running film to labs, scanning, and even just being sweet and kind pals to talk with about your day or have a beer with and brainstorm about your project.
All in all, this workshop could not have been better and I feel so lucky to have had such an opportunity. Antoine’s phenomenal out of the box thinking and honesty is one of a kind. 1000 Words’ workshops fall into the ‘do not miss this’ category!” Katie
HOW TO SUBMIT:
We require that you send 10 images as low res jpegs and/or a link to your website, as well as a short biography and statement about why you think it will be relevant for you to work with Roger (approx. 200 words total). Submissions are to be sent to [email protected] with the following subject header: SUBMISSION FOR 1000 WORDS WORKSHOP WITH ROGER BALLEN.
01 March 2012: Deadline for applications
05 March 2012: Successful candidates contacted
12 March 2012: Deposit due (£500)
09 April 2012: Second installment due (£750)
04 May 2012: Arrive in Morocco for welcoming dinner