The works by the Finnish artist and filmmaker Eija-Liisa Ahtila portray interpersonal relationships, emotionally extreme situations, sexuality, psychoses and the human relationship to nature. She usually integrates her films into audio-visual installations. The exhibition in Duisburg provides a representative overview of Ahtila’s works from the past 20 years – from her early monitor installations to multi-project rooms, films, photography, drawings, and her most recent sculptural media installations. But the primary focus of the upcoming exhibition will be Ahtila’s works created in the past decade. In these pieces, the artist intensively explores the theories of post-humanism. In her latest sculptural installations, she questions our conventional beliefs of what constitutes being human and probes the possibilities of an alternative world experience. For example, in “Studies on the Ecology of Drama”, she has her actors play the roles of animals and plants. In this way, she gradually pulls the viewers away from their accustomed anthropocentric worldview and presents a new perception with playful exercises. By means of experimental arrangements, Ahtila expands the potential of human senses to such a degree that the viewers gain a sensibility for other forms of life and a new understanding of what co-existence entails in both a living and lifeless environment. With vibrant creativity and imagination, her works offer alternatives for experiencing our world beyond anthropocentrism.
Artistic director: Söke Dinkla
Artist: Eija-Liisa Ahtila (FI)