Torbørn Rødland: 132 BPM

February 26–May 29, 2006

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center presents 132 BPM, the fourth and most recent video work by the Oslo-based photographer Torbjørn Rødland. Best known for infusing a sense of unease, mystery, and quietude into otherwise banal images—urban and natural landscapes, portraits, pets, still lives—Rødland's video work comes out of his desire to translate still photography into moving images. The video will be shown in the Vault, a legendary space at P.S.1 that has a long history as an intimate showcase for music, performance, and installation art. Torbjørn Rødland: 132 BPM is on view from February 26 through May 29, 2006.

Rødland's highly attuned eye for color, composition, and the crispness of his imagery carries over to his video work, in particular to 132 BPM. "BPM" refers to beats-per-minute, and according to the artist, the intention was to "add a constant beat to the images—and not the beat of fast editing." In this piece, amid woods, waterfalls and a view of the sea, nature seems to delight in and dance to the music.          

132 BPM was shot during a one-month stay in western Croatia. Prior to the trip, Rødland created an iPod playlist of chart-music with identical tempo (132 BPM) and bought a metronome. Working alone and wearing headphones, the artist set branches, leaves, and trees into motion, as well as animated them with flashlights. After each day of filming, he sorted and edited the material on a laptop. Rødland subsequently worked with Sex in Dallas, a French electronica group based in Berlin, to create the music. Together, the artist and musicians looked at the images and roughly synchronized the music. When Rødland returned to Norway, he remixed the music and injected sounds of nature in motion.

For the artist, 132 BPM combines the notion of machines making dance music and the experience of breathing in a living forest. Rødland perceives the work as a reference to the ways in which "sublime nature is mystically linked to urban longing."

Born in Hafrsfjord, Norway in 1970, Torbjørn Rødland has lived and worked in Oslo, New York, and Berlin over the past few years. Since the mid-1990s his photographs have been widely exhibited and reproduced. He was included in Greater New York 2005 at P.S.1. His first book, White Planet, Black Heart, will be published in June by Steidl.


 

Torbjørn Rødland: 132 BPM is organized by P.S.1 Curatorial Advisor Bob Nickas.

This exhibition is made possible by OCA – OFFICE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART NORWAY.