Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.
Eija-Liisa Ahtila «Anne, Aki and God» | Installation view
Eija-Liisa Ahtila, «Anne, Aki and God», 1998
Installation view | Courtesy: Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert Inc, New York | © ;

Finland | 30' | DVD installation, 2 projection screens, 5 monitors, wooden structure, furniture, text color, sound | Archive / Collection: Kramlich Collection, San Francisco

 Eija-Liisa Ahtila
«Anne, Aki and God»

The film «Anne, Aki, and God,» made up of fragments of a proposed documentation, is the result and continuation of an earlier work, expanded around an installation to convey an entirely new staging of the illusion and reality theme. The exhibition space is divided in two parts. While one side symbolizes passivity, suffering, and grief, the adjoining spatial realm embodies the active element, which the action of the piece treats as a life-affirming principle that opposes simple brooding.
The passive role is played by Aki, a young engineer who gradually retreats from the world, hides himself away in his apartment, and falls into a web of delusion. God appears to him as a form that levitates over his bed, as a metaphysical superego that describes his fate to him and reflects on his existence. At the same time, Anne enters into the scenery. Aki finds this female form born of his thoughts not only his ideal but increasingly irresistible. Once Anne takes on a real form for Aki, his life revolves around her. Like the voice of reason, a strange narrator interrupts the hallucinatory film imagery. He tells Aki that his fantasies were no more than the sum of his suppressed thoughts, and that now he must act on them.[...] the artist [assigns] various natures and voices to the young man, thus making Aki simultaneously one and many people. Aki is part of reality and also part of an illusion.
The active space is reserved for the female element. Shown on a free-standing projection screen are excerpts of interviews with young women applying for the role of Anne. Each uses her own voice and documents a real occurrence, which, at a certain time and location, actually took place.