Eija-Liisa Ahtila

Born: 1959


Eija-Liisa Ahtila is a contemporary visual artist and filmmaker, who lives and works in Helsinki. Ahtila has studied film in London and Los Angeles. She was the professor of Time and Space Arts at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2007–10. Her work has been shown at Tate Modern, MoMa, Guggenheim, as well as at numerous other venues across the world. In 1990, Ahtila was the winner of the Young Artist of the Year Award in Tampere, Finland. She received the AVEK award for important achievements in the field of audio-visual culture (1997), honorary mention at the 48th Venice Biennale (1999) as well as van Gogh Award for Contemporary Art (2000) and Artes Mundi Prize (2006). She was awarded with the Pro Finlandia medal in 2005 and since 2009 she also holds the title of Academician of Art. Eija-liisa Ahtila experiments with narrative storytelling in her films and cinematic installations. In her earlier works she has dealt with the unsettling human dramas at the centre of personal relationships, dealing e.g. with teenage sexuality, family relations, mental disintegration and death. Her later works, however, deal with more profound and basic artistic questions where she investigates the processes of perception and attribution of meaning, at times in the light of a larger cultural and existential thematic like colonialism, faith and posthumanism. 

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