The Bridge is about mental breakdown and the experience of psychosis. The work is based on interviews conducted by Eija-Liisa Ahtila with real women, although the story and the dialogue in the video are fictional. A mother who is on her way to pick up her young daughter walks through the streets of Helsinki as she narrates her experience of dealing with resurfaced repressed memories of childhood abuse and the resulting mental breakdown. When she comes to a bridge and falls down, she is unable to get back up, ultimately able to cross the bridge only by crawling on all fours. Metaphor and fact blur in the film, as do past and present. It becomes unclear to viewers which is which, just as it is unclear to the woman herself. The film is a poignant depiction of psychosis triggered by trauma that allows viewers to empathize with the narrator’s embodied first-person experience.
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.