london

Eija-Liisa Ahtila

Tate Modern

An assured grasp of film language together with a merciless questioning of subjective coherence means that none of Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s films makes for easy viewing. Cumulatively their effect is one of profound discomfiture. Tate Modern’s “Real Characters, Invented Worlds” (which originated at Helsinki’s Kiasma and was shown concurrently at the Kunsthalle Zürich under the title “Fantasized Persons and Taped Conversations”) was listed in Ahtila’s biography as containing “several works.” In reality it provided a substantial survey of her art of the past decade, including a selection of her photographs and most of the major film installations Ahtila has made since her collaboration with Maria Ruotsala ended in the early ’90s.

In Ahtila and Ruotsala’s Plato’s Son, 1990, an alien comes to Earth from the planet Sogol, a world of Platonic forms that is, as its name implies, the antithesis of earthly

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