Torbjørn Rødland

“Corpus Dubium”

May 9 - July 3, 2015

Algus Greenspon is pleased to announce a solo show of new work by Los Angeles based artist Torbjørn Rødland. The exhibition will run from May 9 through June 20, 2015.

Torbjørn Rødland’s most recent images fall under the apt title Corpus Dubium, which translated from Latin means Body Doubt, or Dubious Body. On view are photographs of a large, bare chested, drunk man flanked by two female attendants; a woman, naked except for white socks and white Doc Marten shoes, taking a photo; a young girl, her head held by two hands; the spike of a red heel caught in the waist of someone’s pants; a tuft of hair entangled in bent in half forks and spoons; a spill of white pills on an abstract backdrop; a weekly medication organizer; two deformed human hands holding a Canon camera; a muscular male arm with overly pronounced veins; and a slim person in very large jeans.

Rødland’s images are simultaneously surreal, straightforward, titillating, gross, poetic, and funny. Each is backlit, and the haloed, whiteout effect creates a feeling of interiority. Hanging together here are surfaces of figures in semiconscious states, irregular and contorted body parts, images of image-capturing devices like a smart phone and a camera, and unmarked tablets. While palpably sensual, these pictures are also frigid; by accentuating every faint blond hair and banal plastic curvature, the artist locates that tipping point between attraction and repulsion, and never chooses between the two poles. A loose narrative about presence and absence, submission and domination is implied, that seems to have as much to do with Rødland’s subject matter as it does with the photographic medium. Throughout the works on view, potential images are suggestively conjured and captured within and beyond the frame.

Perhaps this idea of the latent or concealed image speaks to Rødland’s interest in the photographic medium as both within and without the language of art. It might be tied to a theoretical argument, presented as product, or traded as personal memorabilia. It is full of meaning one moment and divested of it the next, a tenu- ous object that nonetheless holds many symbols and even more signs. Rødland’s negatives might linger for months or years before becoming an exhibition print, and in some instances they will never appear outside of a book. His work emerges, coming into being when the time is right. This gestational approach oddly anthropomorphizes the notion of the photographic. Intimating an alignment with Rødland’s imaging of bodies, what goes in, on, or comes out of them, casting doubt on who or what controls the image and how it comes to be.

This is the artist’s second solo show at the gallery. Torbjørn Rødland (b. 1970, Stavanger, Norway) lives and works in Los Angeles, USA. Selected solo exhibitions include: Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo (2015), Standard (OSLO), Oslo (2015), Kunsthall Stavanger, Stavanger (2014), Algus Greenspon, New York (2013), Nils Stærk, Copenhagen, (2013), Air de Paris, Paris (2012), Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima (2010), Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, St. Louis (2010), and MoMA PS1, New York (2006). Rødland participated in the 48th Venice Biennale (1999) and has exhibited in group exhibitions including those at: Casino Luxembourg Forum D’art Contemporain, Luxembourg (2013), Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, Lyon (2009), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2005), and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2000). Forthcoming exhibitions include: Manifesta 11, Zurich (2016).