Feature

Torbjørn Rødland’s Confabulations! Sweet Box Cutter Butter

By Brad Feuerhelm on June 7, 2016

“a child of god loses herself in a world covered in thin plastic sheeting and Uri Geller’s Spoon taps against legs and tabletops are covered in dentures loosened by week old cinnamon rolls”

Torbjorn Rodland is a master of an uncanny and perverse horror and humor. The bleak black saturated bravado that sums up his aesthetic is not without endearing consequence on the part of this reader. That the work is highly stylized should not dissuade the viewer from the ingenuity of existential thought bound to his images. Pregnant Bellies. Box Cutter Butter. You might lose fingers to ice skates and the black girl sitting atop the white wedding cake is not by mistake. Every image has the potential to give you cancer if you continue to inhale them, feasting on their porous and negligent anatomy. Burgundy anxiety and the oxicotin is taking effect nicely.

I think often of Torbjorn’s work. It strides that uncomfortable line in which I have to consider the libidinal impulse over the violence that is implied within the images. I am reminded of a pack of cheetahs, running sleek and beautiful in the dry Sahara, focused only on tearing down the struggling young antelope. It takes precedent for the pack over the adult antelope and I grin, and then the chill escalates from the base of my spine to where it connects with the base of my neck. Necklines. This is a game for the legions of Salo, Sodom, and South Carolina. Here, a child of god loses herself in a world covered in thin plastic sheeting and Uri Geller’s Spoon taps against legs and tabletops are covered in dentures loosened by week old cinnamon rolls. It is almost a sermon and a Sunday lunch served from the microwave of hell’s diner.

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“That the work is highly stylized should not dissuade the viewer from the ingenuity of existential thought bound to his images”

Confabulations published by MACK is a celebration of a rare and strong relationship in which an artist of uncanny measure and likely misunderstood aesthetics is continually championed by a publisher with gusto and foresight to see the prescient and fluid mix of difficult, yet highly stylized material at hand. This publication marks the 10th anniversary of the Rodland/Mack relationship and is not so much as a celebratory mix-tape of loose ends, but rather an ultimate gesture in which both the achievements of the publisher and the artist themself reaches a zenith in aesthetics and book-making object. I am completely biased in my assessment of both Mack and Rodland himself. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Torbjørn Rødland

Confabulations

MACK

 (All rights reserved. Text @ Brad Feuerhelm. Images @ Torbjørn Rødland.)

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