This exhibition will consist of two large-scale video installations by the Finnish artist Eija-Liisa Ahtila. Since the 1990s, Ahtila has been a pioneer of immersive video installations that expand on the possibilities of cinema as an art form, make multiple perspectives visible at the same time, and offer a new mode of meditative viewing of time-based works possible in gallery spaces. This will be the first presentation of work by Ahtila in Kansas and the Great Plains region. The Annunciation takes as its starting point one of the best-known Christian stories: the moment when the Archangel Gabriel visits the Virgin Mary to announce that she will give birth to the Son of God. Ahtila’s The Annunciation makes reference to many powerful images of this moment found in Western art, but also sets the events of the story in the present, where the story is being reenacted by a cast of non-professional actors and trained animals, who play a major role in the work. Ahtila creates a moving rumination on the nature of perception and knowledge, the meaning of the miraculous, the ways humans might expand their circle of concern to non-human species, and the power of familiar stories to allow us to perceive the world in profoundly new ways.
Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York
This exhibition and associated programs are generously supported by Stev Overstreet; the American-Scandinavian Foundation; Consulate General of Finland in New York; Trish Higgins; Sondra Langel; and Lee and Ron Starkel. The Ulrich is grateful for the ongoing support of Salon Circle members who make the Museum’s exhibitions and programs possible through their Salon memberships. We also receive funding for general operational support from the City of Wichita.