The Inside Out Centre for the Arts is a not-for-profit foundation, established by artist-photographer Roger Ballen to serve a dual purpose. First, the Inside Out Centre acts as an art exhibition space, presenting shows that explore issues related to the African continent from a distinctively aesthetic and psychological perspective. Second, the Inside Out Centre facilitates a dynamic programme of educational talks, panel discussions, masterclasses and presentations that reflect on the current exhibition and on topics relevant to the arts. We will also have special programmes for high school groups based on the current exhibition. These include programmes for Visual and Dramatic Arts, Language Studies, Social Sciences and project-based learning.
The name ‘Inside Out’ reflects the idea that the Centre’s exhibitions will encourage introspection, and the design of the building is inspired by the same concept. Raw concrete is used on the interior and exterior surfaces of this mysterious and inviting building, whose concealed entrance opens into a breathtaking, double-volume, naturally lit space.
“I sometimes think that the building looks like it has been turned ‘inside out’,” comments Ballen, who worked closely with local architect Joe van Rooyen of JVR Architects to create a landmark building.
The Inside Out Centre for the Arts has been years in the making. The Roger Ballen Foundation, which was dedicated to the advancement of education in photography in South Africa, was established by the artist in 2008. The Foundation sponsored exhibitions in Johannesburg of notable international artists and brought guest lecturers to students in the city. After some time, Ballen felt that the Foundation, which has since been renamed the Inside Out Trust Foundation, needed a home so that shows and programmes could run on an ongoing basis. In January 2018, he finally found a property in an ideal location to bring his project to fruition. The Inside Out Centre was built on this piece of land, and Ballen moved into the building in August 2020.
“In the years to come,” explains Ballen, “the Inside Out Centre will feature themes related to Africa with global application. There is a wealth of highly respected international and local artists — working in photography, installation, sculpture, drawing, painting and film — whose work centres on African themes. Over time, we will develop inspiring programmes and present thought-provoking exhibitions.”
Image :Roger Ballen Roger and the Inner Voices (2015). Courtesy of the artist and the Inside Out Centre for the Arts.
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