Book Club #13: ‘The House Project’ by Roger Ballen and Didi Bozzini

‘The House Project’ is a unique collaboration between photographer Roger Ballen and writer Didi Bozzini in which words and photographs mirror each other in probing the human mind. Consisting of 30 unpublished images by Roger Ballen and a series of elucidating yet poetical texts by Didi Bozzini, this noteworthy publication explores Ballen’s unique aesthetic through the house as a metaphor for the mind.


The mind is like a house and the house is like the mind. One can move from the basement to the attic by climbing stairs in the house or by a corresponding state whereby one moves from the deeper untouched consciousness to a place that is linked with the ethereal.

– Roger Ballen

“‘The House project’ grows out of a desire to look at Roger Ballen’s work from the specific angle of certain conceptual aspects which are most conspicuously recurrent, like his fascination with the depths of the subconscious, with the sense of the absurd, or with exploring a world on the fringes of society and of rationality. The nature of his personal path as an artist, which unquestionably points to an aesthetic canon, but at the same time is essentially tied to existential concerns, would seem to justify an approach that moves away from the historical perspective, favouring a psychological one, and with it, evoking the possible literary or philosophical references in his works. And so, drawing inspiration from Jung’s analytical insights into the symbolic imagination and Bachelard’s reflections on the material imaginary and the poetics of space, so close to Ballen’s creative world, the basic framework of this project emerged. Working from the metaphor of the mind as house, which both these thinkers share, we attempted to organize an anthology in which the photographs, regardless of date, would follow an ascending course, guiding the viewer along a path of association based on analogies between images, from darkness to light, from cellar to attic.
– Didi Bozzini (Extract from the book ‘The House project’)



43 photographs, 108 pages, 25.5 x 32 cm
Include 30 previously unpublished photographs
Book launch during Paris Photo
Out in November 2015 // Edition of 1000 – First 250 Copies are manually numbered 1 to 250


Images courtesy Roger Ballen