Eija-Liisa Ahtila is an artist and filmmaker from Finland who experiments with narrative storytelling in her cinematic installations and films. For Momentum10, Eija-Liisa Ahtila presents Today which was also shown in 1998 during the very first Momentum biennial. Today consists of three episodes and tells the story of a relationship between generations; that of a grandfather, father and daughter.
Eija-Liisa Ahtila defines a narrative in space and time. The screens are in contact together and we as the viewers are the ones deciding, or almost editing, a possible conclusion which creates a film experience that is an active situation.
All photos: Vegard KIeven © Punkt Ø
Eija-Liisa Ahtila (b. 1959, Finland) is a contemporary visual artist and filmmaker. She has long been considered a master of the cinematic installation form. Her work is conceptually organized around the construction of image, language, narrative, and space, and she has often probed individual identity and the boundaries of the subject in relation to the external world. Using the visual language of cinema, Ahtila presents large-scale installations with multiple channel projections on multiple screen constructions. These viewing conditions, with their simultaneously charged vantage points, break the tradition of cinematic perspective and construct an experience of several co-existing times and spaces for being.
Eija-Liisa Ahtila experiments with narrative storytelling in her cinematic installations and films. In her earlier works, she has dealt with the unsettling human dramas at the centre of personal relationships – teenage sexuality, family relations, mental disintegration and death. Her later works deal with more profound and basic artistic questions where she investigates the processes of perception and attribution of meaning, at times in the light of larger cultural and existential thematics like colonialism, faith and posthumanism. – The artist encourages us to explore how the anthropocentric medium of film might enable us to narrate the very life of the planet – as well as our own with our fellow beings – at this critical moment. The starting point for many of her recent works and research has for instance been the eco-cinematic question: how and with what kind of technology, drama and expressive devices can we build the image of our world in this present moment of ecological crisis?
Eija-Liisa Ahtila has studied at the University of California, Los Angeles; the American Film Institute, Los Angeles; the London College of Printing and the University of Helsinki.