“So fascinating! So disturbing! So unfuckingbelievably fresh!” – This is South African “Zef” pop weirdos Die Antwoord’s gushing praise for their artistic inspiration: Roger Ballen’s photographs. I Fink U Freeky is the result of these superfans’ dreams come true; a music video collaboration 5 years in the waiting, during the recording of which their idol “Mr Ballen” took many of the photographs displayed in this eponymous publication. The book combines pictures of the odd-looking duo posing in a variety of Ballen’s infamously creepy sets, along with a selection of the photographer’s work from the past decade or so. Sure, lots of the images featuring Die Antwoord come off as quite contrived – the pictures of pint-sized, elven blonde Yo-landi Vi$$er clutching a dirty duck in a bathtub and pulling possessed expressions are more “comically cute” than genuinely disturbing in the manner of Ballen’s earlier photographs – but who cares when the resulting collaboration is obviously this much fun?
Prestel/ 128 pp/ £25/ September 2013/ ISBN 978-3791348605
Reviewed by Holly Lucas
Buy the book here