Elina Brotherus is one of the leading female artists of her generation and a benchmark for other artists from the Helsinki School, particularly in how they reflect and interpret their own personal strengths and weaknesses through the photographic process. Both artist and model, sometimes the clown, other times the muse, Brotherus always has a penchant for the curious.
Many of Elina Brotherus’s conceptual photography and video art consist of self-portraits investigating the relationship between the human figure and landscape, individual and space, questioning humanity’s place within nature. She uses her intimate stories to create powerful photographs. Her autobiographical artistic work follows her personal metamorphosis in how she sees herself both in front of and behind the camera. As she emphasises: "It is not about mimicking another artist’s original performances, but studying and understanding the written protocols, the so-called event scores.” In a way, she eliminates the question of authorship and focuses her attention on the invitation to create her own interpretation.
Elina Brotherus has worked throughout her twenty-plus-year career in nordic photography and video, building an international career in Contemporary Finnish Photography. Her works have alternated between autobiographical to art historical approaches, utilizing nearly any aspect of her personal life to those of the most iconic images from nineteenth- to twentieth-century paintings. Brotherus’s most current art historical focus is directed towards works from the 1960s to 1970s. She revisits the Fluxus event scores and other instructional material for performance-oriented art. Her latest work also includes references to other artists with whom she has collaborated, such as VALIE EXPORT and Erwin Wurm. Her fascination with the Fluxus movement and many of the artists who evolved from it begins with the legendary German curators René and Ursula Block and their music store Gelbe Musik, which were both based in Berlin, and which were also the principal sources for Fluxus art in Europe.
Elina Brotherus was born in Helsinki, Finland, in 1972. She lives and works in Helsinki and in Avallon, France. Her work was presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including solo shows at Serlachius Museums (Mänttä, 2018/19), Kunst Haus Wien (Wien, 2018), Centre Pompidou (Paris, 2017), Turku Art Museum (Turku, 2017), The Wapping Project Bankside (London, 2014), as well as numerous group shows at international venues. She has received several awards among which are the Prix Niépce 2005, the Finnish State Prize for Photography (2008) and the Carte Blanche PMU prize (2017). Brotherus is one of the internationally most renowned members of The Helsinki School, focusing on contemporary self-portrait and landscape photography as well as video art.