The Face I Found I Will Find Again is Torbjørn Rødland's fourth exhibition at the Standard (Oslo), on view until February 21.
“This page intentionally left blank”. The start of Paris-based poet Alice Notley's book Songs and Stories of the Ghouls is as much prosaic as poetic. It starts with a pause; the first page being empty apart from the sentence that states it being empty. It starts with a puzzle; even when solely confirming an absence one inevitably establishes a presence. What is a simple fact nonetheless appears as a cultural construct and assumes a form of narrative.
Equally so, the photographs by Torbjørn Rødland so often place speculation in advance of facts. Not at least as a result of these photographs commonly have people appearing doing simple things that are easy to describe, but difficult to explain why. And while his most recent exhibition sees a further condensation of narrative elements, it remains more unsure than ever what sort of narratives they’re inviting. There are three portraits, out of the total of eleven included in Torbjørn Rødland's show, that have the same tableau reappearing: a young woman peeling off layers of skin. Artificial skin, that is – the translucent threads of latex can be seen pinched and stretched from the chin. The eyes are looking away as the woman absent-mindedly unmask her face. The very choice of the mask, and the act of masking as well as unmasking, stirring the notions of complexity associated with any sort of portrait.
Torbjørn Rødland (b. 1970, Stavanger, Norway) lives and works in Los Angeles, USA. Recent and selected exhibitions include Algus Greenspon, New York; Air de Paris, Paris; Nils Stærk, Copenhagen; Kunsthall Stavanger, Stavanger; Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima; Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, St. Louis; and MoMA PS1, New York. Rødland participated in the 48th Venice Biennale (1999) and has exhibited in group exhibitions including those at: Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, Lyon; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and Centre Pompidou, Paris. Throughout the duration of this exhibition the works of Torbjørn Rødland are also subject to a solo exhibition at Henie Onstad Art Centre, Høvikodden.
Torbjørn Rødland - The Face I Found I Will Find Again
January 23 - February 21