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Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathNarration
Consolation Service (Ahtila, Eija-Liisa), 1999Anne, Aki and God (Ahtila, Eija-Liisa), 1998The Greeting (Viola, Bill), 1995

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her memories of past events, or whether they are accompanying parallel events happening at the same time in another place. In «The House,» inside and outside, subject and object, merge. As classic narrative means, Ahtila employs the stream-of-consciousness technique, with the help of which Joyce had already made the process of thinking itself into a theme. This narrative tool allows us to leave the world of linearity, logic and clarity. Her works, like those of Lynn Hershman, take for granted the dissolution of the subject's boundaries. They demonstrate that the compulsive, the absurd and the fantastic are all parts of our reality.

We also find paradoxical narrative structures in the way «The House» is presented in space. The fact that three similar but not identical video films are shown on three projection surfaces gives rise to the impression that events that plausibly must occur have either been skipped over or take place repeatedly. The scenes float between past, present and possible present as Daniel Birnbaum writes: «The past is present. Something has happened: an accident, a catastrophe, a tragic event. The work unfolds as a process of


assessing and working through—a process of grieving that consists of fragments of narration incapable of presenting an overarching and coherent account.»[22] Apart from the interfolding of several chronological planes, one also finds in her works, for example in «Consolation Service» (1999) and in «Anne, Aki and God» (1989), different levels of reality becoming intertwined. This allows narrative elements taken from genres such as documentary film, feature film, music videos and commercials to stand shoulder to shoulder on an equal basis. She interweaves and networks elements from the whole field of audiovisual culture, so that her narrations remain virtual—they find themselves in a floating state in which a variety of potential meanings are simultaneously present and absent.

Deconstruction of narrations

As artists take up the narrative parameter of time in the media art of the 1980s and 1990s, both acceleration and slowness play special roles. Bill Viola's video installation «The Greeting» (1995) is characterized by a strong deceleration of the image rhythm. The original greeting scene between three

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