Horizontal2018 | Framed photographic prints
HORIZONTAL is a six-image documentation of a living spruce.
—The work is a portrait of the tree. It is a record of its existence as a living organism, or perhaps more to the point, a presentation of the difficulty of perceiving and recording a spruce tree with the methods of visual documentation invented by humans.
Instruments2014 | Series of photographs
With this series of photographs taken in 2014, I wanted to find a way to give a visual form to a dialogue between the human and other kinds of living. My aim with the photographs is to touch that which is marked invisible or secondary, and to locate it within the human presence.
The pictures propose questions about presenting and the event of perception – for instance, how a landscape can open up to show within itself attributes of other living beings. I approach these themes with the help of the instruments of moving image such as sound, space, light and vision.
Scenographer's Mind2002 | Series of photographs
The SCENOGRAPHER'S MIND series consist of 18 photographs, two in each frame. The series was made during spring 2002 – a couple of months after completing the installation The House. The theme of the installation is perception and its disintegration. It told a story about a woman who fell ill with psychosis. In the story her house breaks down which becomes a metaphor of the breaking of her mind.
Assistant Series1999 | Series of photographs
Ahtila often uses photographs as research material in the process of making a film. For the artist, the photographs operate as open-ended or implied narratives: ‘like fragments of something that is ongoing before or after the photos are taken’. The groups of images shown here are ‘documents of a certain situation, atmosphere or incident’, offering alternative versions of the same event.
Casting Portraits1995-97 | Series of photographs
As the title indicates, these photographs were made as part of the casting process for the film If 6 was 9. In the search for performers, Ahtila visited a high school in Helsinki and outlined her plan to make a series of photographs and a film about adolescent women and sex. Twenty-four girls volunteered to take part, of whom five were photographed. The photographs proved a valuable resource in the development of the film script, helping Ahtila to recreate the girls’ attitudes and behaviour. Two girls subsequently appeared in the film.
Dog Bites1992-97 | Series of photographs
In this early series of photographs, a young woman is captured in an array of poses mimicking the body language of a dog. Stretching, crouching, begging, she appears to replicate the actions of a pet striving to please its owner. The images are humorous but unsettling.