South African Photographers-Turned-Music-Video-Directors Smack Down!

by Heather on March 14, 2012

Roger Ballen’s 2012 work for Die Antwoord vs. Pieter Hugo’s 2011 work for Spoek Mathambo.

I’m torn. I like both videos. Photographically speaking though I’ll take Hugo over Ballen but not by too much. My husband is voting for the Hugo video. You?

I’m sure you’ve seen the Ballen but may have missed the Hugo last year. Here they are. Watch them again with an open mind and discuss:

SPOEK MATHAMBO – CONTROL from spoek mathambo on Vimeo.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Tony Fouhse March 15, 2012 at 7:47 am

I have to admit to being a huge Die Antwoord fan (and, really, I’m not a fan of much these days). . .

I prefer Hugo’s still fotos to Ballen’s (tho I like tham both) but his (Hugo’s) video seems somehow gimmicky to me. I can forgive Ballen’s gimmicks because they (those gimmicks) seem to be in sync with his general practice.

I have to admit I looked at both these videos when they came out. . .I looked at Hugo’s once and at Ballen’s about a million times. Partly because I Fink U Freeky is a killer tune, but also because it’s just so much fun to watch. (And, if i’m to be totally honest, because Yo-Landi Vi$$er is just so damn sexy.)

I suppose one could also question the representation and stereotyping of Africa that inhabits both these videos but I’m not too interested in that; after all, in music videos cliché and stereotype are par for the course.

dattu April 2, 2012 at 12:16 am

Lobe both of them but stylistically I’m torn so similar yet the energy is different. Either way the grey matter is a scatter afta all the replays.

dattu April 2, 2012 at 12:19 am

Lobe = Love. My gray matter is still a mess.

Andrea Pes April 22, 2012 at 8:11 am

Yea. Love it.

Dave April 26, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Die Antwoord’s video diminishes Ballen’s still work by simply making it into a formulaic affair (change the stills to video, plug in some sub-Butthole Surfer rip-offs (30 years later), and call it a day). Pretty tedious.

Scott Witter May 15, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Hugo has my vote by far. Maybe it’s because I’m such a huge Joy Division fan and love Spoek’s cover of Control. I honestly couldn’t get through the Antwoord video without clicking back on the Hugo vid (not to take anything away from Bellen, it is a nice piece).

Bellen’s video made me feel like I was taking speed which I’m not really into (anymore). Hugo did a great job with balancing the slower tempo of Control while giving the video some energy. Great visuals as well. Nostalgia wins out for me this round.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: