Eija-Liisa Ahtila "Eija-Liisa Ahtila"

Eija-Liisa Ahtila "Eija-Liisa Ahtila"

de Appel, Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 10, Amsterdam

‘Eija-Liisa Ahtila tells tales of broken relationships and personal loss - of things that drive people apart, and into desperation. Often based on everyday reality, her works are narratives about seemingly normal people which unfold before the spectator in time and space. But the main characters in nearly all Ahtila’s work have visions. They inhabit the boundary between reality and fantasy, and find it difficult to keep their disturbed inner life under control. The exhibition in De Appel consists of video installations and photographic works. It is the first major review of her work in the Netherlands, and includes a number of important works from the last ten years. Me/We - Okay, Gray (1993), is a set of three short films originally made for Finnish TV. With their lively dialogues and rapid succession of images, these mini-dramas resemble commercials. However, the subject matter of personal and collective traumas undermines the promotional genre. In If 6 was 9 (1995), a group of adolescent girls reconnoitre female fantasies of lust and sexuality. On the frontier of adulthood, these teenagers are poised between childhood and maturity. Today (1996-1997), consisting both of a video installation projected on three screens and a 35 mm film, tells the story of a family in the aftermath of a terrible accident. The Wind (2002), a video triptych, presents a penetrating portrait of a woman suffering from bouts of depression and occasionally psychosis. The work depicts the gradual emergence of insanity and the woman’s deteriorating communications with the outside world.’ (Press release De Appel) Catalogue: Eija-Liisa Ahtila. Fantasized Persons and Taped Conversations, 2002. Helsinki, Crystal Eye / Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. Text: Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Kaja Silverman, Daniel Birnbaum, Taru Elfving, Kari Yli-Annala. Finnish & English. Bio- and bibiography incl. 248 pp. Hard cover. Design: Jarkko Ojanen / Mia Wallenius. ISBN 951 53 2395 9. € 42,-