Espoo Museum of Modern Art

Eija–Liisa Ahtila: Horizontal, 2011
Eija–Liisa Ahtila: Horizontal, 2011

19.11.2014 - 22.02.2015

Eija-Liisa Ahtila: Horizontal

From November 2014 onwards, EMMA’s exhibition space will feature Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s video installation Vaakasuora-Horizontal (2011). The artwork is part of EMMA’s new collection exhibition entitled Touch. The installation was acquired by the Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection in 2013. It will be on display at EMMA until 22 February 2015.

The artwork shows a 11-metre tall spruce, with its branches swaying in the wind, filmed at full scale in six parts. The soundscape consists of the sound of the wind, the creaking of the trunk and birdsong. The method of display is, however, unexpected: it is shown in a horizontal position.

Vaakasuora-Horizontal is a portrait of a spruce. It is an interpretation of the essence of the spruce, and the difficulty of observing and recording the life of a spruce. How can one capture the very being of a spruce? Each viewer will see the reality differently and each one of them will see the spruce trough glasses tinted by their personal memories and experiences. The artist has wanted to use this artwork to represent the German biologist Jakob von Uexküell’s idea of the parallel and concurrent existence of time and spatial worlds. The work of art, on the other hand, also moves the focus from the human being as the centre of the universe to the greatness of nature; people play a minor part in the greater picture. The display creates a calm and relaxing space.

Eija-Liisa Ahtila (b. 1959) is an internationally renowned Finnish video artist. Vaakasuora-Horizontal was on display in the Parallel Worlds exhibition at the Moderna Museet in spring 2012 and at Kiasma in 2013.

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