Artist: Roderick Hietbrink
Exhibition title: Soil, My Innards
Venue: Kunsthall Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Date: April 21 – June 18, 2017
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Kunsthall Oslo
When you dig in the ground, you go through these layers of sediment, and the deeper you go the darker it gets. And somewhere down there you find these primitive drives that are buried deep inside you, that are somewhat dormant but then also bursting out inside you. And you wonder, is this why I’m so full of conflict, these feelings that I can’t describe or understand? You’re breathing, but you’re not thinking of breathing. You can stop breathing, but at some point something in you says, now it’s time to breathe. And there are a lot of involuntary things happening to you, in you. You just put stuff in your mouth, and your body does stuff with it, and shit comes out. And in a way it never even goes inside. There is this negative worm inside you, and the only way for worms to move forward is by eating dirt, they need to eat dirt and shit it out to move, dinosaurs without their bones. And you are also a dinosaur, struggling with these primitive drives, this prehistoric rhetoric, struggling with the laws of nature, with gravity. Like the way you drop your stupid keys, when you’re trying to open the door, you didn’t ask to be here, it was never your decision, but you’re here and you try to make the best of it, and then you’re confronted with gravity and the keys fall on the floor, because the other hand is holding the shopping bag, and you have too many keys because there are so many locked doors in your life, and you get so frustrated, because you’ve put yourself in this bad situation and you’re not taking responsibility. When you were a child, you followed the laws of nature, they were always there and they were very familiar. And you needed to hold on to familiar things: your house, your bike, your clothes, your room. You had this tame crow, and you were very much out in nature, it gave you a feeling of safety. A tree, digging in the soil, birds. When you were seven years old, you found a dead falcon and you buried it in the ground, so that the worms would eat it and you’d be left with the skeleton, the bones. But when you dug it up again it was putrid, there was all this white goo coming out of its head, and it made you sick. You try to trust the things around you but then you realise they are all just quicksand in a way, suddenly there is a hole in the ground and, before you know it, you just disappear into it. And then you had this dream, a recurring dream, where you were biking home, arriving and feeling that something was wrong. And when you got into the house, it was completely empty. Your family was not there, but instead there were five harlequins in the house, with their faces smeared with dirt. They were not doing anything, not really doing much more than recognising each other’s presence, and also noticing you, but not communicating. And after some time you asked them where your family were, and the harlequins said, your family are gone, they are not there any more. And they said, we are your family now.
Kunsthall Oslo is very pleased to present Soil, My Innards, a new exhibition of sculpture, film and performance by Roderick Hietbrink. Hietbrink studied at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam and at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. His work has been featured in exhibitions at De Appel, Amsterdam; LIAF Biennale in Lofoten, Norway; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; The 5th Moscow Biennale; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and UKS, Oslo. He currently lives and works in Oslo and Amsterdam. Soil, My Innards is supported by Arts Council Norway.