• The exhibition, which focuses on mankind’s relationship with nature, features five video-installations, a series of photographs and a set of drawings.
  • Ecologies of Drama, which will be open to the public until 10 September 2017, is Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s first full individual exhibition in Spain.

The Gas Natural Fenosa Contemporary Art Museum (MAC) officially opens an exhibition today in A Coruña, entitled Ecologies of Drama, by Eija-Liisa Ahtila, an internationally acclaimed Finnish visual artist and film-maker. The exhibition, which focuses on mankind’s relationship with nature, features five video-installations, a series of photographs and a set of drawings.

MAC Director Carmen Fernández Rivera regards the exhibition as “a great opportunity for the Museum to present the work of an internationally acclaimed artist such as Eija-Liisa Ahtila, who had already caught the attention of critics with her first series of works back in the 1990s. Her meticulous installations are intellectually provocative and visually impressive. It is worthwhile to spend time contemplating each of her works, trying to delve deeply into understanding the reality she wants to show us.”

Love, sex, jealousy, anger, vulnerability and reconciliation are some of the emotions that are present in Ahtila’s works. The Finnish artist describes her works as “human dramas”, narratives of fiction which arise from long periods of research as well as her own observations and experiences. Her latest works also reflect on the boundaries between “I” and “other”, inviting the spectator to look inside the mind of individuals who find themselves caught up in periods of psychological fragility.

Eija-Liisa Ahtila (Hämeenlinna, Finland, 1959) has been involved in international film festivals and sector events since the mid-1990s. In 1998, she took part in the 2nd edition of Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art. Ahtila’s group and individual exhibitions have brought her works to the world’s top contemporary art museums. Her polysemic video Consolation Service, in which she deconstructs cinematic illusion, received an award at the 51st Venice Biennale (1999). In 2000, Ahtila won the Vincent Award. In 2002 she exhibited at the Tate Modern, in 2006 she exhibited her multi-screen video The Wind at MoMA, and in the same year she won the Artes Mundi Prize in Cardiff, Wales.

Her works are part of prestigious collections in museums such as the Kiasma and Tampere (Finland), the Tate Modern (England), the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum de Eindhoven (Netherlands), the Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art (France), MoMA and SFMoMA (USA) and private collections in Italy, Switzerland, Germany and the United States.

Ecologies of Drama, which is open to the public until 10 September 2017, is Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s first individual exhibition in Spain.

Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s Ecologies of Drama

The Finnish artist and film-maker Eija-Liisa Ahtila began working in the 1980s, after completing her training at the Helsinki Free Art School. She later studied in the Film and Video Department of the School of Management in London (1990-91) and at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. Ahtila has been a pioneer in her country in using and promoting video art and has established herself over her career as a key figure in this genre.

Expressed with great virtuosity, her experimental narratives and emotive portraits of characters have attracted public interest and international acclaim. Her films and installations convey a sense of contemporary familiarity and it is this, along with a sharp individuality, which gives Ahtila’s style its hallmark.

Her work has been divided up conceptually into image construction, language, narration and space. Using visual cinematic language, Ahtila presents large-scale installations where she projects images onto several screens to enable different simultaneous narratives and multiple points of view. These simultaneous viewing conditions allow her to break away from the idea of a cinema perspective and build a new experience of coexisting space and time.

Her films and film installations –which include such iconic works as The Annunciation / La Anunciación de María, Where is Where / Dónde está dónde and The House / La casa – examine the processes of perception and attribution of meaning, sometimes from specific thematic and cultural perspectives such as colonialism, religious beliefs and the realm of biopolitics.

Gas Natural Fenosa Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC)

The Gas Natural Fenosa Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) is a multidisciplinary centre for contemporary culture. It is a dynamic, flexible and open space that combines exhibitions with public involvement and participation, in order to stimulate artistic creation in all areas of culture.

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) has been establishing itself over the years not just as an exhibition venue but as a meeting place too for artists, art-lovers and the public, offering an extensive programme of cultural, educational, social and artistic activities that include temporary exhibitions, lecture series and workshops for schools and professionals.

The Gas Natural Fenosa Foundation has shifted its activities towards more social issues, which is why it has grouped all its cultural activities together and integrated them into the museum. The Museum of Contemporary Art is now part of the Gas Natural Fenosa Foundation, joining the ranks of the Gas Museum in Sabadell and the Bolarque Hydropower Plant Museum in Guadalajara.

 

A Coruña, 27 April 2017.

Images

The work entitled ‘The House’. 

Press Dossier

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