Tuuli / The Wind, 2001 - 2002

Master digital Betacam, Pal, couleur, son, durée 14'20" et 3 DVD Pal de diffusion en boucle de 59'

Eija-Liisa Ahtila's installation entitled The Wind is presented in a large space whose walls and floors are entirely covered by a specific red shade chosen by the artist. Spectators face 3 large video screens installed side by side. Each screen reflects a different point of view of the same action. Through this procedure, the spectators stay alert, since they are continually obliged to choose which screen to watch.

In 2000, Ahtila conducted a series of interviews with 7 young women, each suffering from a different mental pathology. From this documentary material, she created 5 fictional characters that she presented in a number of works: in 2001, The Present, an installation of 5 videos each lasting 2 minutes, and in 2002, Love is a Treasure, a 55 minute film and 2 video installations each 11 minutes long: The House and The Wind.

The Wind explores the psychosis of Susana, a young Finnish woman played by Marjaana Kuusniemi.
In her apartment littered with objects, Susana gradually succumbs to her inner demons: paranoia with respect to the outside world, anxiety, and dysmorphophobia. These feelings have physical repercussions on the heroine: she compulsively bites her nails, giving herself the illusion of controlling her anger and destroying the objects around her.

External characters – real or imagined – intervene in this sealed-off world: a young man enters, performing absurd actions and winds up refusing Susana's advances. A group of aggressive girls invades the living room. The spectator comes to doubt the reality of her protagonists: could they be reminiscences from Susana's past?

A long inner monologue manifested by Susana's voiceover follows the short dialogues with the young man. This inner monologue gives substance to the young woman's uncontrollable stream of consciousness.

A violent wind gradually devastates the young woman's apartment, acting as a metaphor for the madness slowly taking over her mind. There is no indication of its origins: the window is not open and the fan installed in the corner of the room could not produce this level of chaos.

Susana behaves in an increasingly unusual way and ends up climbing along the wall of her bedroom, adopting the position of a gargoyle. The director introduces an imaginary action into Susana's realistic world, as though to symbolise the moment of transition into the world of madness.
Eija-Liisa Ahtila implies a parallel between the mechanisms of Susana's psychosis and the narration of her story: she plays on radical chronological breaks, repetitions of certain scenes, and uncertainty with respect to the reality of the characters. She wants the spectators to empathise emotionally with the process of mental degradation of a psychotic individual.

Laetitia Rouiller