Eija-Liisa Ahtila is exhibiting at VOID


Love, sexuality, jealousy, anger, vulnerability and reconciliation - the powerful emotions underlying human relationships - are explored in the works of artist Eija-Liisa Ahtila. Ahtila is making her Irish solo debut at the highly acclaimed, artist-led VOID gallery in Derry. She exhibits two of her installations works: ‘The Present and ‘The Fisherman'.

In the beginning of her career, the conceptual content of Ahtila's art was motivated by art philosophy, by a critique of art institutions and by feminism. The focus of her investigations was the construction of the image, language, narrative and space. After 1990 she went even more deeply into themes surrounding individual identity and the limit of the self and body in relation to the other.

According to Ahtila, what interests her in films and photographs is above all the story. She calls her films "human dramas". They deal, as do many of her other works, with human relationships, sexuality, the difficulty of communication, individual identity, its formation and disintegration. The stories Ahtila tells through her films and photos are based on research, on real and fictive events, on the experiences and memories of the artist herself, of those she knows, or of complete strangers. 

1999 Ahtila's video ‘Consolation Service' was awarded at the Venice Biennial. She has also received the Coutts Prize, Vincent Award, Artes Mundi Prize in Wales and the Daad in Berlin. Ahtila's had solo shows at Museum Fridericianum in Kassel and Kunsthaus in Glarus 1998 and at the Neue Galerie in Berlin in 2000. She has also exhibited her works at MoMa in New York and Tate Modern in London.

Born in Hämeenlinna, Finland in 1959, Ahtila attended the Helsinki University between 1980 and 1985 and then studied film at the London College of Printing 1990-91. In 1994-95 she continued her studies at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. Ahtila now lives and works in Helsinki, Finland.


10.2 -21.3.2009 VOID GALLERY, IRELAND
Patrick Street, Derry, BT48 7EL
Telephone +44 (0)28 7130 8080