Eija-Liisa Ahtila

Eija-Liisa Ahtila

Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma

Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Horizontal, 2011. Six-channel projected installation. Courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery, New York and Paris. © 2011 Crystal Eye – Kristallisilmä Oy.

April 2, 2013

Eija-Liisa Ahtila
Parallel Worlds
19 April–18 August 2013

Museum of Contemporary Art
Mannerheiminaukio 2
00100 Helsinki, Finland


Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s exhibition Parallel Worlds presents latest works by the internationally acclaimed artist and invites us to consider the boundaries of the experience of being human.

In her most recent works, Eija-Liisa Ahtila (b. 1959; Hämeenlinna, Finland) explores the relationship between humanity, animals and nature. The title of the exhibition is a reference to the idea that living creatures inhabit separate, yet simultaneous worlds. Our human experience is only one of many possibilities. Ahtila has been inspired in her work by the thinking of the Baltic German biologist and philosopher Jakob von Uexküll (1864–1944).

Ahtila often uses words and literature as starting points for her works. The works also contain references to the narrative devices of theatre, painting, film and television. The use of different modes of representation in the same work is well-suited for Ahtila’s themes—the meeting of cultures, globalisation, and the shifting nature of human consciousness and identity.

Ahtila explores the techniques of the moving image in works, which often take the form of installations consisting of several video projections. The viewer’s place is in the centre of events. Eye contacts and gestures travelling from one screen to the next are carefully orchestrated and the viewing experience is always different depending on the viewer’s position.

Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s works has been exhibited in major museums across the world, including Tate Modern in London, Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, National Museum of Art in Osaka, and National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.

The Parallel Worlds exhibition presents Ahtila’s works from the past ten years. It is produced in collaboration with Moderna Museet in Stockholm, where the exhibition was shown early last winter in 2012. And the exhibition travelled last October to the Carré d’Art – Musée d’Art Contemporain de Nîmes in France. Ahtila’s previous extensive solo exhibition Fantasized Persons And Taped Conversations was shown in Kiasma in 2002.

Upcoming in May:

Marja Kanervo: (dis)appearing 
17 May–29 September 2013
A master of transitory art, Marja Kanervo will create in Kiasma works inducing powerful sensory experiences of space. The themes of Kanervo’s art are memory, the body and our relationship to nature. She is totally eclectic about her media, working with equal facility with recycled as well as organic materials such as hair, feathers or teeth. Among other new works, Kanervo will create for Kiasma a work that incorporates the architecture of the museum. She will remove paint from the wall and reveal layered deposits of time.

Eija-Liisa Ahtila at Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma
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Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma
April 2, 2013

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