My first approach to the work of Elina Brotherus was last year while I was doing Context and Narrative course, and more specifically to her series “Annonciation” and I immediately felt fascinated by those open scenes, that in certain way resemble a scene of a classic painting: the sensation of space, the proportion of the human figure, the tonal balance of the composition,..
Watching the video of Elina Brotherus I understood how important is the visual cultural heritage in the work of the photographer, a concept that she not only uses as a way to organise her compositions, but to explore the relationship between the model, the photographer and the viewer as in her series “Artist at work”’ where she is the subject for two painters, and at the same time the painters are the subjects of Brotherus’ photography. Is there a reference to the painting of Diego Velazquez “Las Meninas”?
But in today’s reflection what interests me is how the photographers put herself in the centre of her work. In the lecture he made for OCA students she says how important is to take a position, to explore where we are now and here. Take an hour to reflect calmly about this, freeing ourselves for the burden of past and not feeling the urgency of the future, just viewing ourselves now and here. It’s difficult to gain perspective over our own life, to draw the “virtual landscape” where our figure placed on it was able to represent that specific moment in our history which we are reflecting on.
Another interesting question that mentions in this lecture is the relation of the photographer and the time: in this digital times when we can instantly check whether the picture was taken right in the screen of the camera, and we almost always feel the rust to share our work in social networks, time has become a “rara Avis”. Brotherus says that the photographer needs time not only to prepare the work (she even feels the pressure of the model waiting) but to gain distance from it and be able to contemplate as if it were the work of someone else.