11 February 2012
- 6 May 2012
Moderna Museet presents an exhibition featuring completely new works by Eija-Liisa Ahtila, one of the most internationally recognised Nordic contemporary artists. Ahtila has been a constant pioneer in the development of multi-media art ever since her video and performance breakthrough in the 1990s.
Eija-Liisa Ahtila is a masterly and fascinating story-teller in moving images. Her filmic installations challenge the boundaries of our identities and overturn our perceptions of time and space. Her occasionally super-realistic scenarios are based on everyday human experiences and relationships. With the utmost earnestness and personal humour, her works focus on our greatest and most urgent issues. What makes us human? Can absolutely everything be forgiven? Is my experience all that counts?
Ahtila’s process begins as writing, and she also bases her work on artistic models, such as texts by Arthur Rimbaud and Frantz Fanon in the installation Var är var? (Where is Where?, 2008), or renaissance painting in Marie bebådelse (The Annunciation, 2010). In the last-mentioned work, which forms the core of this exhibition, Ahtila enacts postcolonial and biopolitical issues without departing from the personal level.
She often alludes to given, familiar forms, including commercials or documentaries, undermining the viewer’s position as a detached spectator. Her works explore the potential of the film medium, weaving an intricate web of references – between film and theatre, painting and poetry, fiction and documentary.
Ahtila’s works are often produced as both installations and feature films, and are regularly shown at international film festivals. Eija-Liisa Ahtila was a member of the feature film jury at the latest Venice Film Festival.
This exhibition is produced jointly by Moderna Museet and Kiasma – Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki. It will tour to Carré d’Art in Nîmes, France.
Curator: Lena Essling
With support from