Torbjørn Rødland 'Bible Eye' will open on January 23, 2021 at The Contemporary Austin
The exhibition will run until August 15, 2021
"Torbjørn Rødland (born 1970 in Stavanger, Norway) works with analog technology and readymade spaces to create photographs that render the everyday uncanny. His images blend the cool, seductive aestheticism of commercial and fashion photography with the layered complexity of a conceptual practice, resulting in ambivalent perspectives that both attract and repulse. This contradictory stance is intentional, the artist’s careful positioning of his work within a fugitive field. From the media-savvy reality critique of 1980s Pictures Generation–era artists, à la Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince, to the seemingly captured moments of Nan Goldin and Larry Clark or the rigorous conceptualism of Christopher Williams and John Baldessari, practitioners working in photography in recent decades have sought to upend notions of authorship and originality in representational imagery while grappling with the concerns of conceptualism within a medium that is inherently grounded in reality. Concurrently, the advent of digital photography has both expedited and removed uncertainty from the process, rendering the analog formats Rødland uses a specialization.
Combining elements from both fleeting and constructed space to summon “a more layered move into the erotic, the psychological, [and] the spiritual,” Rødland strives for a new, hybrid, and unfamiliar (analog) art form, which he calls “transpluralistic photography.” His images channel the mythmaking quality of both contemporary media and art historical paintings, inspired by the ways in which pictures can evoke multiple meanings and complex if ambiguous narratives. Images like Baby, 2007, a portrait of a nude baby sitting upright with one arm positioned across the chest, looking intently into the camera, or Five Tears, 2014, a black-and-white image showing the downturned face of a woman with a stylized blond bowl haircut and viscous tears suspended on her cheeks, could seem to deconstruct religious iconography as much as the often objectifying gaze of commercial photography. For his presentation at The Contemporary Austin, the artist’s first solo exhibition in Texas, Rødland will display a selection of recent and older photographs alongside new photographs created in Austin"- The Contemporary Austin
The exhibition is curated by Heather Pesanti, Chief Curator & Director of Curatorial Affairs, The Contemporary Austin, with text also by Pesanti.
Torbjørn Rødland: Bible Eye is funded in part by Jarl and Pamela Mohn.
Torbjørn Rødland, "Eggs," 2019