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In this fever of defiance Foto: Magnús Elvar Jónsson

Pia Antonsen Rognes
In this fever of defiance

11 August - 11 September 2016

What moves inside of me

a smouldering place of blunt pain, of swollen mass
that which fills the cavity of my chest

the void that swells and pushes through the ribs
runs out in clusters and glues me to the bed

melts meat and bones
guides me to the ground

then rises in discomposure
gruelling, hungry, taking me in tow

demanding my humanity
devours and seduces

To make shape of this wordless place
this shapeless being
that extrudes onto me

It is with great pleasure that we begin the 2016 autumn season by presenting Pia Antonsen Rognes’s very first solo exhibition. In This Fever of Defiance features newly produced sculptural works. The central work, Shapes of Violence, hangs from the gallery ceiling and spreads out across the floor. Using synthetic textiles, fake fur, latex and metal, Rognes creates complex surfaces suggesting contorted and swollen bodily forms. She moulds bodies that are free of the limitations of the human body, free of the tight camouflage of skin, free to express themselves through meta-human and anthropomorphic qualities.

In her works Rognes focuses on self-destructive human behaviour: impossible and complicated things that compel a person to commit self-damage. She tends to see self-destructiveness from a developmental perspective, as helping a person cope with difficult emotional states. The destructive drive would thus also involve a type of loving care, perhaps like the joy and necessity of an escape route, a welcome solution to something far more difficult, insurmountable.

Through her sculptural works, Rognes searches for parallels between an emotional experience and a sensory experience brought about by the fusion of negatively and positively charged objects – how the human body can accommodate urges such as the desire to be violent and loving at one and the same time. These conflicting extremes are at the core of her art: to cultivate self-destructivity as something positive, and the fact that one is damaged by such behaviour.

Rognes searches for materials and combinations that conjure strong and conflicting associations. For her, materials and forms that appeal to the senses and which resemble the body are like a vocabulary for reading feelings into a work.

Pia Antonsen Rognes (b. 1986, Trondheim) lives and works in Oslo. She holds a Master’s degree from Iceland Academy of the Arts in Reykjavik (2014), and a Bachelor’s degree from Bergen Academy of Art and Design (textile department, 2012). She has participated in a number of group exhibitions in Norway and Iceland, among others, the regional Trøndelag Exhibition in 2015, where she won the debut prize for the work As They Believe My Lying Body. In 2013 she participated in Norway’s annual national Autumn Exhibition and in Craft – the annual exhibition organised by the Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts. There she won the prestigious Craft Prize for the work River i meg venter lokker vekker den som lengter (loose translation: ‘Tearing into me, waiting, tempting, arousing one who yearns’). In autumn 2018, she will hold a solo exhibition at Trøndelag Centre for Contemporary Art.

The exhibition has been generously supported by Arts Council Norway.

In this fever of defiance

Pia Antonsen Rognes: In this fever of defiance
Foto: Magnús Elvar Jónsson

In this fever of defiance

Pia Antonsen Rognes: In this fever of defiance
Foto: Magnús Elvar Jónsson

In this fever of defiance

Pia Antonsen Rognes: Tease 2016
Foto: Magnús Elvar Jónsson