Dresie and Casie


Here are the twins Dresie and Casie:

Dresie and Casie, photo by Roger Ballen

This haunting portrait was shot in 1993 in the backwaters of South Africa (Western Transvaal), by photographer Roger Ballen.

    I think his work, both the realistic and the more abstract part of it, is really brilliant. Dresie and Casie are just one example from his portrait gallery (and book) Platteland (“Countryside”).

    Maybe you’re also interested in a preview of his latest photographs – from his upcoming 2014 book Asylum. No documentary portraits like this one, but more impressionist compositions.

The Question

So what are Dresie and Casie doing here?

    First of all, obviously I hope this one photo will convince you it’s really worthwhile to take a closer look at Ballen’s fascinating work, as presented by him on his own site. He’s one who still takes old-fashioned non-digital black-and-white photos, which contributes to the almost magic, timeless quality of it all.

    But in the second place, I thought that taken simply as just a portrait, this photo might also serve very well as a quick depression self-test. A test that needs only your honest answer to this one question:

    Instead of being who you are now, would you rather be one of these twins? Would you prefer to be Dresie? Or Casie?

Take one more good look at them before giving your answer.

    If your answer really is yes, yes I’d rather be one of them, well, then I’m sorry, I guess you’d better go and see your psychiatrist.

    If your answer is no, well, then your depression could have been a lot worse, couldn’t it? Maybe it’s not so bad after all! Maybe you should try to be a little more happy with ummm with being yourself?

 trick: Yes yes, you’re right, this is the same dumb trick our mother used to play on us when we children complained about the food on the table, and she retorted: “Just think of all those poor hungry children in Africa who have nothing to eat at all!”
    But you know what? Sometimes there’s a grain of truth in dumb tricks.

2 Responses to “Dresie and Casie”

  1. 1 Ele Jan 26, 2015 at 01:57

    I got here by chance, but wow, your article is embarrassing. I’m not one to take offense easily, but really, fucking WOW. Why are you assuming and encouraging everyone to assume that they are better off than these twins? Because they’re ugly? Because they seem poor? Even if they were clearly behind in comparison to the rest of us, does it seem logical to you paternalizing them in this way? I’m sure if they read this they’d tell you to fuck off.

  2. 2 bzcenci Feb 16, 2015 at 22:48

    I wonder what would have said Lombroso about this pair of twins, and perhaps they are good people, only ugly.

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