Eija-Liisa AHTILA

(1959- )
Nationality: finnish

Finnish film maker and video artist. She studied at Helsinki University (1980–85), the London College of Printing (1990–91) and then at both UCLA and the American Film Institute, Los Angeles (1994–5). In 1990 she was awarded the Paulo Foundation Prize for Young Artist of the Year. After experimentation with photography, installation art and performance art, Ahtila turned to film and video in the 1990s. The three mini-films Me/We, Okay and Gray (1993) each lasting 90 seconds and written and directed by her, were shown separately and as a trilogy, as trailers in cinemas, on television during commercial breaks and in art galleries. They are noted for their use of narrative conventions derived from film, television and advertising, through which they explore questions of identity and group relations. Ahtila's main preoccupation with narrative and what she terms ‘human dramas' was continued in the film If 6 was 9 (1995), presented both as a ten-minute video installation with triple projection and sound and as a 35mm-film installation. The work takes its title from a Jimi Hendrix song but deals with a group of five young girls, focusing on sexuality as a way of exploring the world. The monologue, though fictional and spoken by actors, was based on Ahtila's own experiences and research. The curious blend of documentary and dramatic narrative is underlined by the syncopated montage and an intense, often overbearing use of sound. Her 1999 colour film Consolation Service, screened two DVD discs each lasting 20 minutes (exh. Venice, Biennale, 1999), comprised a double projection of a number of scenarios based on the theme of conflict; again the mixing of cinematic genres was used to highly effective poetic ends. In 2000 she was the first recipient of the Vincent van Gogh Award for Contemporary Art in Europe. In 2000 she became the first winner of the Vincent Prize, a biannual award for contemporary European artists.

7 MOVIES IN DISTRIBUTION

LOVE IS A TREASURE
2002 / 35 mm / coul / son / 57' 00 / 162 €
CONSOLATION SERVICE
1999-2000 / 35 mm / coul / son / 24' 40 / 109 €
TODAY
1996 / 35 mm / coul / son / 10' 00 / 55 €
IF 6 WAS 9 A SPLIT SCREEN FILM ABOUT TEENAGE GIRLS ANS SEX
1995 / 35 mm / n&b / son / 11' 00 / 55 €
GRAY
1993 / 35 mm / n&b / son / 1' 40 / 17 €
ME/WE
1993 / 35 mm / n&b / son / 1' 40 / 17 €
OKAY
1993 / 35 mm / n&b / son / 1' 40 / 17 €