Annunciation, a new solo show by Elina Brotherus at gb agency, is also the title of a new series of photographs initiated in 2009. This work retraces Elina Brotherus' work back to photographs stemming from her own personal experience and her will to put on stage a subject still taboo: infertility. Alongside these unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant and while she was staying in New York, Elina Brotherus realized two films: Wrong Face and Francesca Woodman's Aunts shot on 16mm. Unlike her photographs which state the grim reality of the impossibility to have a child in the form of a diary, the two films reveal another face: a resolutely free and creative woman in her artistic practice.
The exhibition underlines this duality in the artist's life and shows Elina Brotherus' wish to keep on questioning the issue of the self and of the intimate. Through her compositions referring to history of art and to classical painting, Elina Brotherus reinterprets and modernizes the symbolism around the Annunciation as well as its profound meaning.
(text source: gb agency)
Elina Brotherus, Exhibition view of Annunciation ; Photo: Marc Domage / courtesy of the artist and gb agency, Paris.
More on Elina Brotherus (b. 1972, Helsinki, Finland)
Elina Brotherus lives and works both in her native Finland and in France. She was awarded the Prix Niépce photography prize in 2005, after having gained attention first in Finland and soon after in the international scene in the late 90’s, with a body of work dealing with identity and personal history (Das Mädchen sprach von Liebe, 1997-1999). With photography and video, Elina Brotherus explores the emotional landscape and looks at how an individual connects with the others around her. With a voluntarily structured visual language, this early work always had a starting point in her own life and real events. She never did any role play or staged things afterwards.
More recently, Elina Brotherus has focused on the notion of model in art, like in the series Artists at Work (2009) where she poses nude in an empty artist’s studio in front of two painters who are educated in the classical tradition of atelier painting. Leaving the camera release cord visible, the artist becomes at the same time model for the two painters but also the model of her own photographs in this crossfire of gazes.
Education: Master of Arts (Photography), University of Art and Design Helsinki (UIAH), 2000. Master of Science (Analytical Chemistry), University of Helsinki, 1997.
(Image on top: Elina Brotherus, Wrong Face , 2012 , still of 16 mm color film, silent , Duration: 3'35''; Courtesy of the artist and gb agency, Paris)