Legs and Tail
Chromogenic print on Kodak Endura paper
28 x 35 cm
Edition of 20 copies, numbered and signed by the artist on certificate
about Torbjørn Rødland
The Norwegian photographer Torbjørn Rødland depicts our everyday reality in strange ways. He mixes the seductive aesthetics of advertising and fashion photography with the more profound way of image-making of European classical and symbolist painting. The result is ambiguous images that both attract and repel. Rodland’s practice deals with our human existence – with hope, passions, fears, trauma – through layered and charged images for the internet age.
While Rødland’s photography is not conceptual, his work is undeniably informed by conceptual art: his work is an investigation of photography itself. He treats photography as a material, a manipulative medium capable of playing on our emotions. In addition, photography largely determines our reality (just think of how many photos you come across every day in newspapers, on bus shelters and on your phone).
Torbjørn Rødland is first and foremost a maker of images. His images tend to be carefully staged, with great attention to the way the set is constructed, to how the objects are placed, to lighting, to colours, and so on. Rødland’s images do not permit a quick reading. The artist attaches great importance to the layered nature and open meaning of a photograph. He invites the viewer to make personal interpretations but points out that these personal opinions are shaped by our cultural context. Rødland consciously plays on this and makes his pictures in such a way that the references that they evoke sometimes clash with each other.
In concrete terms, this means that Rødland’s photographs evoke the mythical qualities of both contemporary media and art-historical painting. Each viewer reads the image differently, depending on their cultural interests. For example, an art historian will see the work Goldene Tränen as a reference to a crying Virgin Mary, while a teenager who spends her days online watching porn may have a more sexualised reading of the same image.more...