In his staged photographs Torbjørn Rødland depicts young people in a magnificent Scandinavian nature. The sap green glades, trickling streams and snow covered woodland floors appear idyllic and serene. But in Rødland the modern world encroaches on nature and man’s romantic yearning for Nordic nature and naturalness is revealed to be an unattainable ideal.
DescriptionA young nude woman is posing on a rock on the fringe of a forest. Tall and slight, with curly auburn hair, she is resting on her right underarm. Her face is hidden by a black visor with a white Jolly Roger. The sun is shining, and in the background water trickles down the large protruding rocks.
About the workPirate updates the romantic notion of the Nordic landscape and the woman as idealised nature. Featuring beautiful, unspoiled nature, bathed in a poetic ‘Nordic’ light, the photograph is a type of depiction of nature which refers to the national romantic landscape painting in which man is united with nature through a great experience of nature.
In Pirate, however, the ideal world is disrupted. The portrayed woman’s Jolly Roger visor introduces a foreign element in the magnificent nature. Thus the photograph establishes an obvious contrast between nature and culture, between nudity and industrially manufactured consumer goods.
About Rødland’s art in generalTorbjørn Rødland’s photographic practice is inspired by the American ’Picture Generation’ which includes artists like Sherrie Levine, Louise Lawler and Richard Prince. This trend in photography provided the foundation for a new conceptual and staged kind of photography in the 1980s.
Literature”Torbjørn Rødland: Grav med utsikt = Tombe avec vue = Grave with a View” (Jutta Nestegard).
“Beyond Paradise: Nordic artists travel East”, National Gallery of Art Bangkok, Thailand, 2002.
“Clockwise: New Nordic Contemporary Art”, (ed. Malene Vest Hansen), Vejle Kunstmuseum, 2002.
“The Politics of Place”, (eds. Jan-Erik Lundström & Johan Sjöström), Bildmuseet, 2002.
“Organizing Freedom: Nordic Art of the ’90s”, (ed. David Eliott), Moderna Museet, 2000.
”Torbjørn Rødland: Even Now”, Galleri Wang, 1999.
Torbjørn Rødland studied at Ragaland University Centre in Stavanger 1989-1991 and at the National College of Art and Design in.....