September 6, 2019 - Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma - Torbjørn Rødland: Fifth Honeymoon
September 6, 2019

Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma

Torbjørn Rødland, The Ring, 2017. Chromogenic print on Kodak Endura paper, 60 x 76 cm. Courtesy of Galerie Eva Presenhuber.

Torbjørn Rødland
Fifth Honeymoon
September 13, 2019–January 5, 2020

Artist talk: September 13, 6–7pm

Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma
Mannerheiminaukio 2
FI-00100 Helsinki
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In the autumn Kiasma features works by Norwegian artist Torbjørn Rødland. He is known for carefully staged, beautiful photographs that evoke emotions. The subject is often a person in an intimate situation filled with tension and which allows multiple interpretations. The exhibition Fifth Honeymoon is presented on the fourth floor of the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki.

Torbjørn Rødland’s photographs are highly charged and intimate, often centered around the human figure. Bodies appear in Rødland’s work both as portraits and as individual parts such as hands, feet, ankles and knees, or they appear as staged, typologized “characters” in the midst of a telling moment. Like the artist’s many still lifes, these photographs are made to reflect our complex and layered reality. The results are ambitious and ambiguous images that both appeal and repel.

In his works, Rødland often combines figures asymmetrically. Old is coupled with young, different ethnic backgrounds mix, and the power relations of the models are out of balance: one dominates while the other submits. However, Rødland’s aim is to deconstruct these dichotomies by showing that they are intertwined. This idea repeats in many Eastern philosophies that for instance posit that it is impossible to comprehend good without evil.

The feeling of unease is also often present in Rødland’s photographs. In his works the viewer encounters an ambiguous scene which may be the result of either tenderness or violence. It is up to the viewer to interpret the situation. “I am interested in things that have more layers that can go in different direction, both ways. Therefore, different people can have different readings of the finished image.” 

Although Rødland’s medium is still photography, the key work in the exhibition is the new video Between Fork and Ladder, filmed in Los Angeles and the scenic landscape of Norway’s Lofoten Islands. Objects and visual elements from the photographs re-appear in the video, in which a 10-year old boy performs a musical theater song, while cutting out cartoon images of the controversial meme-figure Pepe the frog from a printed cloth.

Torbjørn Rødland (b. 1970, Stavanger, Norway) lives and works in Los Angeles. He has displayed his work at the Venice Biennale; Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo; Serpentine Gallery, London; Fondazione Prada, Milan; and videos in particular at MoMA PS1, Long Island City; and Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima. Fifth Honeymoon is one of Rødland’s newest bodies of work. It’s also his first solo exhibition in Finland.

The exhibition is produced by Bergen Kunsthall in collaboration with Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm and Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki. The exhibition is supported by Embassy of Norway in Helsinki.

Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma is part of Finnish National Gallery together with Ateneum Art Museum and Sinebrychoff Art Museum.

Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma
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Fifth Honeymoon
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