Eija-Liisa Ahtila

Eija-Liisa Ahtila

Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art

Eija-Liisa Ahtila
Where is Where?, 2008
53 min 43 sec
6-channel projected high-definition installation with 8-channel sound
Photographed by Marja-Leena Hukkanen
Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery, New York and Paris
Copyright © 2008 Crystal Eye – Kristallisilmä Oy

February 24, 2010

Eija-Liisa Ahtila
26 February – 25 April 2010

Private view: 25 February, 6.30 – 9 pm

14 Wharf Road
London N1 7RW
United Kingdom
T +44 207 490 7373
F +44 207 490 7775
info [​at​] parasol-unit.org


Parasol unit is delighted to present a major solo exhibition by the renowned Finnish film and video artist Eija-Liisa Ahtila. It will include three important moving image installations never before seen in England.

Ahtila is best known for works that concentrates on narratives in human life together with the relationships and primal emotions that underlie them. She describes her films as ‘human dramas’ because they play on the central themes of our existence, such as love, death, sexuality, the difficulty of communication, and individual identity – both its formation and disintegration. Her fictional stories emerge from interviews and extensive research, her own observation and memory. As Ahtila’s films are often shown on multiple screens or within complex installations, her stories unfold simultaneously within time and space, thereby creating a multi-layered experience that engages the viewer both physically and emotionally. Her masterfully crafted narratives, striking portrayal of characters and highly individual mode of expression have captured public interest and won much critical acclaim.

The exhibition will consist of three moving image installations Where is Where?, The Hour of Prayer and Fishermen/Études no.1.

Eija-Liisa Ahtila (born 1959 in Hämeenlinna, Finland), held her first solo exhibition in 1990 at the Tampere Art Museum, Finland, and since then has exhibited extensively in Europe and the USA. Her exhibitions include: 2009, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Museum of Modern Art Aalborg, Denmark; 2008, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Kunstsammlung Nordhein-Westfalen, K21, Düsseldorf, Germany; 2008, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Jeu de Paume, Paris, France; 2006, Eija-Liisa Ahtila: The Wind, MoMA Media Space, New York, USA; 2004, Intention to Fail, Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, USA; 2003, Tokyo Opera City Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; 2002, Fantasized Persons and Taped Conversations, Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland; 2001, Sala Montcada of Fundació “La Caixa”, Barcelona, Spain; 2000, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany; 1999, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA; 1998, Museum Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany.

Ahtila’s work has also been shown at numerous film screenings and festivals, including the Sundance Film Festival, Utah, USA; Locarno International Film Festival, Switzerland; Hong Kong International Film Festival, Hong Kong, China; and film retrospectives at MoMA, New York, USA, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France and Tate Modern, London, UK.

This exhibition at Parasol unit will be accompanied by a new publication.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Parasol unit will hold a one-off screening of Ahtila’s film Where is Where? This UK premiere will be held at the Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square, on Wednesday 14th April 2010 at 7pm. It will be followed by a discussion between Eija-Liisa Ahtila and Stuart Comer, Curator of Film at Tate Modern. Parasol unit acknowledges the support of FRAME (Finnish Fund for Art Exchange) for this project.

This exhibition is supported by The Finnish Institute, FRAME (The Finnish Fund for Art Exchange), and the Embassy of Finland.

Visitor information

Gallery opening hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. and Sunday, 12–5 p.m.

Admission: Free

Closed Good Friday and Easter Sunday

Note to Editors

Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art is an independent educational charity devoted to promoting contemporary art for the benefit of the public. The core activity of the foundation is to showcase contemporary work of leading and young international artists in various media. In conjunction with each exhibition Parasol unit organizes a series of talks and educational events. Each year, Parasol unit mounts four exhibitions in a variety of media, each of which is usually accompanied by a publication. In order to encourage the widest possible access to its exhibition programme, Parasol unit does not charge admission fees for its exhibitions.

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Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art
February 24, 2010

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