Eija-Liisa Ahtila: Horizontal

June 7, 2014-November 8, 2014

Location: Palevsky Design Pavilion


Eija-Liisa Ahtila


Curator: Rita Kersting

Eija-Liisa Ahtila's poetic video installation presents a portrait-in-motion of a giant spruce tree shifting in the wind. In order to make it fit into an exhibition space scaled for human viewers, the artist chose to project the image horizontally rather than vertically. This simple rotation of 90 degrees powerfully challenges habitual modes of organizing and depicting reality by making visible our anthropocentric perspective. In between painting and cinema, strange and beautiful, Horizontal probes human perception and invites us to consider the coexistence of separate spatial and temporal spheres for different living beings.

Horizontal, 2011
6-channel projected HD installation, surround sound, 6 mins.
Purchase, Contemporary Art Acquisitions Committee of
American Friends of the Israel Museum, New York


Finish artist Eija-Liisa Ahtila undertakes

an ambitious task: to document and

photograph a spruce tree measuring over ten

meters high, and to present it in its natural

size. Due to the large scale of the spruce,

the artist chose a presentation that is a

departure from the conventional perception

of a tree: rather than vertical, Ahtila’s tree

is horizontal. Our encounter with this work

allows us to closely examine a familiar reality

from an unfamiliar perspective.