Artist and Her Model. Elina Brotherus (Finland).
Photographs by Elina Brotherus
Text by Susan Bright and Timo Kelaranta
Published by Le caillou bleu, 2012.
[Purchase: Le caillou bleu]
“I’m 40 years old now. Since my early photographs, more than 15 years ago, I have used myself as a model. It’s a strange feeling to look back at the work done and to look at that young person I used to be. I am living now what was an unknown future for her. What has happened, what has changed? The apartments, the boyfriends; the face has grown older. The aesthetics of my photography have, nevertheless, remained the same”.
Artist and Her Model by a Finish photographer Elina Brotherus. This book is a meditative journey, a diary, a reflection. Elina Brotherus is a photographer, an artist and a model. The work gathered in the book documents the time wrap from 1996 to 2011. The story is told not in time, but rather in fragments. She works in self-portiture, sometimes bringing people who have special place in her life. Elina’s photographs depict relationship with people, love, disappointments, search, pain and how they shift/change over the years. While the images are constructed, she is completely present in every moment, living/experiencing her life.
It is strikingly honest work: there is no narcissism. It is personal, yet it is so easy to connect to it. Susan Bright also notes “there is a closeness you feel to her but also a cool conceptual distance”. Elina’s photography evolved from autobiographical into more conceptual and even philosophical. It also reveals her deep understanding of art history. She uses camera to play with colours, composition, space, figures.
The book as an object is beautiful. Powerful cover photo, - a model with a release cable (how simple and strong!). Sugar yellow end-note papers work with the colours of the images. Elegant design and strong pictures.