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Bani Abidi: ‘What you see in my films is what I know’ Ocula Conversation Bani Abidi: ‘What you see in my films is what I know’

A group of voices accompanies me in the exhibition. They are singing words I cannot comprehend, yet the warm tunes are familiar: folk songs, love songs, songs of longing. There are letters, too. They speak of the quotidian details of a soldier's life: the hardness of the war, sending money to the family, and longing for familiar landscapes, food,...

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Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future Ocula Report Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future 11 Oct 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...

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Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum Ocula Insight | Video Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum 16 August 2019

Mark Bradford walks through Mark Bradford: Los Angeles Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai (27 July–13 October 2019) is the artist's largest solo exhibition to date in China. In this video for Ocula, Bradford and Diana Nawi, curator of the show, walk through selected works that convey the artist's concerns with...

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Eija-Liisa Ahtila

Finland

Eija-Liisa Ahtila is a contemporary visual artist and filmmaker. She lives and works in Helsinki, Finland. Ahtila is noted for her experimental approach to narrative storytelling. In her earlier work, she dealt with the unsettling human dramas at the centre of personal relationships, addressing family relations, mental disintegration and death. Her interests include the processes of perception and the attribution of meaning, at times in light of larger cultural and existential themes such as colonialism, faith and posthumanism.

Since 2005, Ahtila has been working in eco-cinema, addressing how we should picture the world in light of global warming and other ecological crises. Ahtila posits an understanding of the environment that recognises these changes, and acknowledges the rights of other living beings on this planet as well as our responsibility to the environment. Consequently, her concerns have shifted towards rethinking the nature of drama if it were to move beyond the anthropocentric perspective, as in Horizontal (2011), for instance, which positions a tree as the protagonist.

For the 21st Biennale of Sydney, Ahtila's new installation, Potentiality for Love (2018), is presented at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Potentiality for Love deals with the potential for empathy and love towards other living beings. It turns attention to those human emotions that could serve as a foundation for dismantling the hierarchical structures between living things, thereby engendering a turn towards non-humans and the recognition of others.

Biography by Stephanie Berlangieri | Biennale of Sydney Exhibition Team | 2018
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Featured Artworks

Studies on the Ecology of Drama by Eija-Liisa Ahtila contemporary artwork
Eija-Liisa AhtilaStudies on the Ecology of Drama, 2014 4 channel projection installation, 27 mins 40 secs
Marian Goodman Gallery
Potentiality for Love by Eija-Liisa Ahtila contemporary artwork
Eija-Liisa AhtilaPotentiality for Love, 2018 Moving image sculpture in 3 silent parts
Marian Goodman Gallery

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In Related Press

The 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018) announces first 21 artists for its 45th anniversary exhibition Related Press The 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018) announces first 21 artists for its 45th anniversary exhibition 6 April 2017

The world-renowned Biennale of Sydney is back next year to celebrate its 45th anniversary exhibition. Set to maintain its status as the largest and best-attended contemporary arts event in Australia, the 21st Biennale of Sydney is anticipated to once again bring an impressive and diverse range of contemporary artists and artworks to the...

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