Born in Helsinki in 1972, Elina Brotherus today shares her time between Finland and France. A graduate of the Helsinki University of Art and Design, the visual artist has developed a body of work of photographic and moving images, influenced by the history of art, literature and architecture. Experimenting with self-portraits, she questions the relation between the artist and the model, exploring the emotional landscape and the relations between the individual and the whole represented by others. Since 1997, her works have been regularly exhibited internationally and are found in several public collections: Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, or the Saatchi Collection in London. In the course of her career, Elina Brotherus has published nine monographs, and has received numerous awards (Prix Niépce, in 2005, la Carte Blanche PMU in 2017, among others).
“The glass ceiling and sexist discrimination in different forms are everyday life for women”
How did you become a photographer? Would you define yourself as a one?
My father was an amateur photographer. I remember him making black and white prints in the bathroom. He gave me my first camera when I was 7, and when he died, I inherited his Olympus. My mother became a widow at the age of 37 and went to art school. She had four fantastic years as an art student and painter. She took me to exhibitions and had a very contagious enthusiasm, before she passed away too. So one could say I’m a photographer thanks to my father, but I’m an artist thanks to my mother.
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