Roger the Rat is a film by artist Roger Ballen that was created during the pandemic lockdown in South Africa. His artwork constantly blows my mind. It excites and terrifies me all at once, and always leaves me hungry for me. You can watch Roger the Rat here for free. It's 25 minutes long, and filled with characters and imagery that crawl deep under my skin. Ballen is one of my favorite living artists, and I'm always looking forward to see what he dreams up next.
"'Roger the Rat' is Roger Ballen's latest short film which was conceived and completed during the lockdown period in South Africa. Here Ballen created and documented a part-huma, part-rat creature who lives an isolated life outside of mainstream society. The film explores a theme that runs through most, if not all of the artist's work, people who are marginalized by society. This is explored through the lens of the unmistakable aesthetic of the Ballenesque and for a brief moment in time we are submerged in the surreal subterranean world of Roger the Rat, which may seem alien and cold to some while perhaps others know it only too well. In addition to the film, the publication 'Roger the Rat' was published by Hatje Cantz: Berlin. Adhering to the distinct Ballenesque aesthetic, these images beautifully oscillate between fantasy, dark humour and unceasing pessimism. The publication inspired the conception of the film and together, both publication and film render a farcical commentary on the zeitgeist of our time."