In the book Shadow Chamber published by Phaidon Press in 2005, Ballen features bizarre and mysterious images of people, animals, and objects occupying unsettling and strange small rooms covered with scribbled drawings, abandoned objects, and dangling wires. This publication established the fundamental elements of Ballen’s work and set the tone for an evolving and increasingly complex body of work that comprises his latest book, Boarding House. With this series, the sense of disjointedness that has been a part of Ballen’s work for over a decade comes into full focus, delivering a sort of tarot card mash up with unlimited interpretive possibility. (Eyemazing, Boarding House, 2009) The series Boarding House was shot in a three storey warehouse structure near Johannesburg. Remote and hidden among huge tailings from gold mines, it is a neighbourhood unto itself. Inside it is crowded with poor workers, transients, criminals hiding from the law, witch doctors, pet animals, and insects. Only a few rooms are formed by walls, most of the spaces being partitioned off by rugs, blankets, or metal sheeting. (David Travis, A Dwelling Within.. Boarding House, Phaidon, 2009) Although this strange place may in fact exist, it is Ballen’ s images that transform the physical structure into a metaphorical and fictitious place, a chimera of shadows, cryptic shapes, inexplicable figures, disjointed body parts, and enigmatic drawings on the wall. The title itself Boarding House is based on the concept of transience and temporary residence. During the process of creating Boarding House, I broke through or into parts of my mind that I never knew existed. It was quite enthralling to find and be in this place. It is difficult to explain this place except that I think it exists in some way or another in most people’s minds.