“The Bridge” by Eija-Liisa Ahtila, a single-channel video installation about mental breakdown and the experience of psychosis, is featured in “Nordic Impressions: Contemporary Art from Åland, Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.” The exhibition at Scandinavia House in New York City presents work that reflects the rich diversity and global character of Nordic art.
Eija-Liisa Ahtila has selected seven monumental works that provide a selective retrospective of her oeuvre. In her earlier works she has dealt with the unsettling human dramas at the center of personal relationships. The recent works have widened the focus from people onto their environment, departing from a biopolitical perspective.
Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s new hybrid piece in three parts, Potentiality for Love, combines sculpture and with moving image technology.
Her new work deals with the potential for empathy and love towards other living beings. The three parts each have a different approach on the theme. Potentiality for Love turns attention to those human emotions that could serve as a foundation for dismantling the hierarchical structures between living things, thereby engendering a turn towards non-humans and the recognition of others. The work reflects the origins of these emotions, how we define them and how we conceive of their function as part of a larger continuum of living beings.
Following its premiere in Mänttä, Potentiality for Love will embark on an extensive world tour, including a show at the Biennale of Sydney in March 2018 and at Galerie Marian Goodman Paris.
ACMI presents Eija-Liisa Ahtila: Studies on the Ecology of Drama, a four-screen projected installation on view from 5 December, 2017 to 25 February, 2018. Filmed in the Finnish countryside, a 'human actor' guides us through a series of thoughtful yet playful visual exercises. Using animation and visual effects, we're invited us to consider the way cinema contributes to understanding our place in the natural world. Featuring a juniper tree, a common swift, a horse, a butterfly and a group of acrobats, the work encourages us to imagine how the moving image can be used to explore the experience of non-human beings in this time of ecological crisis.