Die Antwoord butchering old beats

Going through photographer Roger Ballen’s Boarding House series, each portrait made me wonder: “but what are these people in the photographs doing after the shoot?” Ballen’s portraits are detailed, staged pictures of unnamed human figures, often with out-of-place props (rats, crosses, dolls…) in the same frame, always against a dead cold grey background. I failed to imagine them to be alive, real, or moving. Watching the music video that Ballen directed for South African crew Die Antwoord (“from da dark dangerous depths of Afrika” — their words) changed that a little. The figures do come to life. But I never imagined them dancing to an old beat.

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