stils da video - installazioni - fotoart - bodyart
Eija-Liisa Ahtila at Roger Pailhas
Jan. 11-Feb. 28, 1997
Eisa-Liisa Ahtila (pronounced something like Ay-sha Lay-eesa Ach-teela), is a Finnish video artist and filmmaker, born in 1959. She showed two triptych works at Roger Pailhas. The first was a looped, ten-minute video projection in color, called If 6 was 9 (a Jimi Hendrix title), which dealt with the sexual life of pubescent girls. Candid and compelling revelations, subtitled in English, played simultaneously over all three different images, with gamines projecting their fantasies about sex, asking things like, "What shall I do when the boys offer their bodies?" or playing basketball among themselves then thinking more about boys. The video was shot like a documentary but projected in three-way jump-cuts. Interspersed were an occasional older male nude shot from below, a blank screen, city images.
The second triptych, Me/We; Okay; Gray, was three 90-second black-and-white films that can be shown during the commercial segments of ordinary television. In these Ahtila examined how identity and control is played out among couples. Very well shot and cut, Me/We showed the frenzy of a family of four, Okay focused on a person's interior monologue expressing the dilemmas of sex, and Gray showed the anxiety one feels when catastrophe looms.
Both triptychs revealed her skill and an ability to play with different but similar media. The videos animated the wall with a sculptural tactility and the television shorts, if they were actually shown, would really stick a knife in your somnambulant viewing.