Eija-Liisa Ahtila: Olentoja (Creatures)
A Multi-Installation Exhibition
Location: Gerald and Marjorie Schechter Bronfman Gallery, Chandler Gallery
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 11:00am
The Davis proudly presents Eija-Liisa Ahtila: Olentoja (Creatures), the first major U.S. exhibition by the internationally acclaimed Finnish artist.
Eija-Liisa Ahtila is best known for her lushly beautiful and psychologically intense videos, and for the precise calibration (of image, sound, and environment) of her installations. Vivid and mesmerizing, her videos are mysterious and open-ended, often imbued with notions of the sacred and miraculous in everyday experience. The work's distinctive narrative complexity is further enhanced by multi-screen projection, designed to question both the nature of the "moving image" and the possibility of seeing from many perspectives at once.
Culled from over a decade of production, the pieces Horizontal (2011), Anthropomorphic Exercises on Film (2011), Companions (2011), The Annunciation (2010), and The House (2002) demonstrate the depth and range of the artist's practice. Recently, Ahtila has been inspired by German biologist Jacob von Uexkull's notion of umwelt, which posits the multiplicity and simultaneity of world-views among creatures. The projects selected for this exhibition are filled with beings; human, animal, magical, and botanical poised in uncertain relationships. For the exhibition title, Eija-Liisa Ahtila chose the word olentoja (creatures) which captures this scope and adds something ineffable, "a bit more soul."
Curated by Lisa Fischman, Ruth Gordon Shapiro '37 Director of the Davis, the exhibition and related programs are presented with major support from the Kathryn Wasserman Davis '28 Fund for World Cultures and Leadership, special funding provided by Wellesley College Friends of Art at the Davis, and additional support from FRAME, Visual Art Finland.