Roger the Rat is a film by artist Roger Ballen that was created during the pandemic lockdown in South Africa. His work constantly blows my mind. It excites me and terrifies me at the same time, and always leaves me hungry for myself. You can watch Roger the Rat for free here. It’s 25 minutes long and filled with characters and images that crawl deep under my skin. Ballen is one of my favorite living artists, and I always look forward to seeing what he dreams up next.
“‘Roger the Rat’ is Roger Ballen’s latest short film which was conceived and made during the lockdown period in South Africa. Here Ballen has created and documented a half-human, half-rat creature that lives an isolated life outside mainstream society.The film explores a theme that runs through most, if not all of the artist’s work, people marginalized by society.This is explored through the prism of the unmistakable aesthetic of the Ballenesque and for a brief moment, we are immersed in the surreal underworld of Roger the Rat, which may seem alien and cold to some while others may know him all too well. In addition to the film, the publication “Roger The Rat” was posted by Hatje Cantz: Berlin. aesthetically, these images oscillate beautifully between whimsy, dark humor and relentless pessimism. The post inspired the film’s conception and together the post and the film comment far felu sur t he is in tune with the times of our time.”