Polyphilia 

Polyphilia – the practice of/desire for intimate relationships with more than one partner. 

«She told me relationships are always about giving and giving. Not giving and taking, like we’re conditioned to believe. As a verb, to give means -to freely transfer the possession of (something) to (someone). But as a noun, the word has a more intimidating tone — the capacity to bend or alter in shape under pressure. 

So how (and what) can I give? Do I have to change form to make it clear that I love?

Plant-persons are absolute masters when it comes to the act of giving. They grow and alter their shapes until the day they die. They give themselves to everyone – behaving as food for almost every living being on the planet. Even their waste product is sorely needed, as their trash maintains the atmospheric oxygen levels on our planet.

In my quest to find love, I’ve come to look at them for inspiration and guidance. Could it, perhaps, be true that it’s easier to give yourself to multiple partners rather than only one? Could it be that plant-persons have some answers for us?»

Polyphilia is a piece specially made for gallery KiT and Meta.Morf Biennale, and is part of Renate Synnes Handal’s ongoing project En annen partner. In it the artist explores topics like love, relationships, and loneliness — navigating through the art- and everyday life together with her special partner Gullis (Epipremnum Aureum). 

Over the past two years, they’ve lived and worked together, all the time with a focus on developing their romantic bond. By now, they have shown three fragments from their shared reality, Suddenly, you complete me at Bergen Kunsthall, 36 at Visningsrommet USF and En annen partner at Atelier Nord ANX. They have also traveled to Renate’s hometown Ålesund, where they did a residency in the middle of the forest in Telemark, as well as they have taken a charter-trip to beautiful Agia Marina, Crete. 


Renate Synnes HandalRenate Synnes Handal

Renate Synnes Handal is based in Bergen, where she got her master’s degree in Fine Art from the University of Bergen in 2018. Her practice can best be described as a platform for story-telling, where big ontological questions function as a blurry backdrop. What are we? How do we live now? How do we choose to relate to ourselves, each other and our surroundings? It is a practice that examines the political responsibility we possess as people-persons, since we freely get to decide who and what we include as important in our society.