Marita Liulia

 


"The limits can only be found by experiment."

Marita Liulia is one of Finland’s internationally best-known contemporary artists. This multi-disciplinary artist-director’s multimedia works, photographs, paintings, books, games, stage performances and short films have been exhibited and performed in 50 countries.

Highlights of her career are solo exhibitions in Kiasma and Amos Anderson Art Museum in Helsinki, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo and Abbaye de Neumünster in Luxembourg. Hundreds of performances include Venice Biennale, Chatêlet in Paris, Joyce Theater in New York and Kennedy Center in Washington.

Liulia studied literature and political history at the University of Helsinki and visual arts at the University of Art and Design Helsinki. Her artistic career began in the theatre and, during the 1980s, she worked with various visual artforms.

In 1991, she expanded her scope to digital and interactive media with Jackpot, a CD-ROM on the world of advertising. Maire, a study of modernism released in 1994, was one of the first artworks to be published in CD-ROM format. Ambitious Bitch, a colourful CD-ROM about femininity (1996), marked her international breakthrough. SOB (Son of a Bitch), a CD-ROM about men and masculinity, followed in 1999.

In 2001, Liulia returned to the theatre, with Manipulator and Animator, works created collaboratively with musician-composer Kimmo Pohjonen. HUNT (premiere at the 2002 Venice Biennale), a dance and multimedia performance realized together with choreographer-dancer Tero Saarinen, has become something of a cult classic. HUNT has been performed 177 times in 38 countries.

The popular Marita Liulia Tarot was published in six different formats (touring exhibition, interactive web game, book, deck of cards, mobile-phone application, and performance) in 2000-2004. Tarot has been translated into ten different languages. Choosing My Religion, an art project about the world’s major religions, had its premiere in 2009 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki. This touring exhibition of 80 artworks has attracted 70,000 visitors.

In 2011, Liulia was invited to work as the first Artist in Residence on the Aalto University. She is currently directing a trilogy of dance films titled Dance of Death. The first, Return of the Goddess featuring Virpi Pahkinen, premiered 2012 at Helsinki Festival.

Liulia has received numerous awards, including the Prix Ars Electronica in Austria (1996) and the Prix Möbius International in France (1996, 1999). She has also been awarded the Finland Prize, the Finnish Cultural Fund Prize, Erik Enroth Prize, and Stina Krook Foundation Prize (2008) for her achievements as an artist. Liulia has received five-year artist’s grants from the Finnish State. She started her own production company Medeia in 1997.

“My recipe is to combine art, research and technology and to spice it with a pinch of humour and a considerable dose of beauty.”