Eija-Liisa Ahtila (1959, works and lives in Helsinki) is a contemporary visual artist and filmmaker. She has long been considered a master of the cinematic installation form. Her work is conceptually organized around the construction of image, language, narrative, and space, and she has often probed individual identity and the boundaries of the subject in relation to the external world. Using the visual language of cinema, Ahtila presents large-scale installations with split-screen projections on multiple panels. These viewing conditions, with their simultaneously charged vantage points, break the tradition of cinematic perspective and construct an experience of several co-existing times and spaces for being.
Eija-Liisa Ahtila studied at the University of California, Los Angeles, at the London College of Printing and at the University of Helsinki. Her work has been exhibited in solo shows at: Guggenheim, Bilbao; Oi Futura, Rio de Janeiro; Albright Knox Art Gallery; The Israel Museum; Serlachius Museum, Finland; Lehmbruck Museum, Germany; Kiasma, Finland; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; DHC/Art Foundation for Contemporary Art, Montreal; Jeu de Paume Paris; K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Parasol Unit, London; Museo d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bolzano, Italy; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, Scotland; Kunsthalle Zurich; Tate Modern, London. She will have a solo exhibition at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in La Coruña in 2017 and at the Serlachius Museum, Mänttä, Finland and Museum M, Leuven in 2018.
Her work has also been included in many international group exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale (2005 and 1999); Documenta 11, Kassel (2002) and will be part of the upcoming Sydney Biennial. Her films have been included in many major festivals including Berlin, Sundance, Venice and Oberhausen. In 2011 she was appointed to the main jury of the Venice Film Festival and in 2013 she was the chairwoman of the jury in FIDMarseille.
Ahtila has been honored with numerous prizes over the past two decades that include, most recently, becoming an Academician of Arts in Finland (2009); The Prince Eugen Medal for Outstanding Artistic Achievement, Sweden (2009); Artes Mundi, Wales International Visual Arts Prize, Cardiff, Wales (2006).