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Finnish Artist Exhibiting in Montreal


Sorry for the delay in publishing this – we just got the information last week.
Start Time: Friday, January 29, 2010
End Time: Sunday, May 9, 2010
Location: Grande Bibliothèque 
475 de Maisonneuve Blvd. E., Montreal, QC
The exhibition takes place over three sites:
451 St-Jean (DHC/ART main building)
465 St-Jean (DHC/ART *NEW* satellite space)
745 Ottawa (Darling Foundry)
The installation Where is Where? is produced and presented by the Darling Foundry under the direction of Marie Fraser.
Internationally acclaimed Finnish filmmaker, photographer, and video artist Eija-Liisa Ahtila is known mainly for complex multi-screen narratives that reveal the fragile inner life of her protagonists, as well as the tenuous line separating fantasy from reality. Using the visual language of cinema, her work is presented as split-screen projections on multiple panels, which has the powerful effect of dramatising a psychological perception of space and time for the viewer.
Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s film installations experiment with narrative storytelling, creating extraordinary tales out of ordinary human experiences. Her sharp, vivid film and video installations are concerned with the psychological impact of interpersonal conflict, and are sensitively attuned to the intricacies and ambiguities of human emotion and romantic discord.
Ahtila refers to her work as “human dramas,” fictional narratives drawn from her own observations and experiences and from long periods of research. Her installations fuse urgency and detachment, documentary realism and cinematic fantasy. The many unsettling emotions in her work—intimacy, loss, and repression—are leavened by a gentle humour and absurdity, and are presented in dynamic environments, which engage the viewer both physically and intellectually.
Taking its title from a “slug line” or master scene heading found in screenplays, INT. STAGE–DAY is the artist’s largest exhibition ever assembled outside Europe, spanning almost two decades of art and filmmaking. The works on view include Today (1996-1997), which reflects upon the death of a grandfather as viewed and mourned by three family members on three screens; The Hour Of Prayer (2005), an exploration of grief and loss after the death of a dog—beginning in a winter storm in New York and ending in Benin, West Africa eleven months later; The Present (2001), a depiction of women who have developed a psychosis, shown in five short looped episodes on five separate monitors; The House (2002), a haunting three-screen film about madness and a woman who hears voices; Consolation Service
Information for the media:
Myriam Achard, Director of Communications and Marketing
myriam [AT] / (514) 779-8868
451 & 465 St-Jean
wed – fri 12 PM / 7 PM
sat – sun 11 AM / 6 PM
(514) 849-3742
info [AT]
Darling Foundry
745 Ottawa
wed – sun 12 PM / 7 PM
thurs 12 PM / 10 PM
(514) 392-1554
info [AT]
Image: Eija-Liisa Ahtila — THE HOUSE, 2002
© Crystal Eye Ltd, Helsinki. Courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery, New York and Paris. AHTILA_PressComm_201001_at 19 (1999), a deft articulation of a bitter divorce culminating in a consolation service—the final giving up of the relationship; and finally, the dazzling and complex multi-screen Where is Where? (2008), presented at The Darling Foundry, which considers the emotional trauma of war on civilian victims, centering on a Finnish poet (played by Kati Outinen) and her efforts to morally untangle the real life incident of two Algerian boys who murdered a French playmate during the Algerian war of independence in the 1950s. The exhibition will also comprise two photographic series: Dog Bites (1992-1997) and Scenographer’s Mind (2002).
Born in Hämeenlinna, Finland in 1959, Eija-Liisa Ahtila studied film in Los Angeles and London. Her works have been exhibited at major museums across the world, such as Tate Modern (London), Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin), Jeu de Paume (Paris), and MoMA (New York).
Education : Project Scene
SCENE is an art education project that encourages participants to respond to Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s artistic approach to narrative structures and cinematic language, by creating a fictional scene using, text, photography or drawing.
For more information:
DHC/ART would like to thank the Embassy of Finland in Ottawa and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland for their generous support.
The installation Where is Where? is produced and presented by the Darling Foundry under the direction of Marie Fraser in collaboration for Contemporary Art. The Darling Foundry would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts, le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and FRAME Finnish Fund for Art Exchange for their support.

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