Marian Goodman Gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition of a 4-screen moving image installation by Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Studies on the Ecology of Drama, in our Third Floor Gallery. The film version of this work had its premier at ‘Forum Expanded’ at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival this month. The work was also included in the comprehensive survey of Ahtila’s work which took place at the Albright Knox Art Gallery in 2015.
Eija-Liisa Ahtila 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 split-screen projections on multiple panels. These viewing conditions, with their simultaneously charged vantage points, break the idea of cinematic perspective and construct an experience of several co-existing times and spaces for being.
The starting point of Ahtila’s recent works (The Annunciation, 2010; Horizontal , 2011) and research has 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?
Studies on the Ecology of Drama continues this urgent enquiry - employing renowned Finnish actor Kati Outinen as a narrator/performer who speaks directly to the viewer in the tradition of lecture-performance. She talks us through the issues and themes of an ecology of drama, using examples to disabuse us of our usual expectations and associations - and opening up space for other types of presentations and performers. These performers include a bush, a juniper tree, a common swift, a horse, a brimstone butterfly, and a group of human acrobats. In short, she 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.
Eija-Liisa Ahtila studied at the University of California, Los Angeles, at the London College of Printing and at the University of Helsinki. Her work has been exhibited in solo shows at: Guggenheim, Bilbao; Oi Futura, Rio de Janeiro; Albright Knox Art Gallery; The Israel Museum; Serlachius Museum, Finland; Lehmbruck Museum, Germany; Kiasma, Finland; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; DHC/Art Foundation for Contemporary Art, Montreal; Jeu de Paume Paris; K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Parasol Unit, London; Museo d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bolzano, Italy; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, Scotland; Kunsthalle Zurich; Tate Modern, London. She will have a solo exhibition at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in La Coruña in 2017 and at the Serlachius Museum, Mänttä, Finland and Museum M, Leuven in 2018.
Her work has also been included in many international group exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale (2005 and 1999); Documenta 11, Kassel (2002) and will be part of the upcoming Sydney Biennial. Her films have been included in many major festivals including Berlin, Sundance, Venice and Oberhausen. In 2011 she was appointed to the main jury of the Venice Film Festival and in 2013 she was the chairwoman of the jury in FIDMarseille.
Ahtila has been honored with numerous prizes over the past two decades that include, most recently, becoming an Academician of Arts in Finland (2009); The Prince Eugen Medal for Outstanding Artistic Achievement, Sweden (2009); Artes Mundi, Wales International Visual Arts Prize, Cardiff, Wales (2006).
Please join us at the opening reception on Wednesday 1 March from 6 – 8 pm. For further information, please contact Linda Pellegrini, Director of Communications on 212 977 7160.