new-york

Eija-Liisa Ahtila, The Annunciation, 2010, still from a three-channel video installation, 33 minutes.

Eija-Liisa Ahtila

Marian Goodman Gallery | New York

Eija-Liisa Ahtila, The Annunciation, 2010, still from a three-channel video installation, 33 minutes.

At one point near the beginning of Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s beautifully measured, characteristically serious-minded video The Annunciation, 2010, a narrating voice-over wonders aloud: “Can something already familiar fulfill the criteria for a miracle? Can one be shaken with surprise by something one knows through and through?” Such questions—spoken over images of a wintry landscape populated by trees and birds and, for one hallucinatory moment, by a strangely familiar bearded gentleman in a red-and-white suit—obviously gesture toward the specific Marian mystery to which the centerpiece of the Finnish artist’s most recent show was addressed. But they also articulate an organizing principle of the exhibition as a whole and of Ahtila’s practice in general: her insistence on the presence of the miraculous in the everyday and of a kernel of the everyday in even the most marvelous

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the February 2012 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.