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Exhibitions   /   Elina Brotherus

Artist and her model


11 September – 10 October 2009

A male ballet dancer is posing gracefully for the female artist, who sits in the left corner of the image with her foot on the camera release. In so many ways Elina Brotherus’ Artiste avec danseur en Apollon is different from Edgar Degas’ famous ballet motifs from the19th century Paris.

Brotherus’s work is poetic and yet precise. Staged in a naked room where the few details of the room are almost hidden behind a white curtain so that the relation between the artist and her model becomes the only central theme. This relation is being turned upside down as the woman is the actual creator of the image whereas the man is the object.

The image reminds of a ”tableau vivant” – a kind of living picture with actors or models obviously posed. This is a recurring thing in much of Brotherus’s work where she very often uses herself as model.

Many of her photos and works of video are self-portraits typically investigating the relationship between individual and space, both in relation to interiors as well as landscapes. Her motifs and themes are usually concerned with reflection for instance in the diptych-series Points of View on Landscape where she shows the role of the perspective in the way we perceive the world. Standing in the middle of a Nordic landscape, wearing orange trousers, a model (the artist herself) is photographed with her back against the camera and then laterally reversed facing the camera, photographed from the opposite direction. The same landscape and the same person, standing in exact same place, but seen from two points of view.

At her show in Martin Asbæk Gallery, among others, she presents the series Fuji-mi. The highest mountain of Japan is the main motif of these works that literally circle around Fuji. A female figure, wearing a winter coat, is seen at different locations in more or less the same distance to the mountain.

Elina Brotherus (b. 1972) lives and works in Finland and France. She has exhibited around most of the world, in Denmark a.o. ARKEN – Museum of Modern Art where she is represented in the permanent collection with the video work Mirror.

The exhibition at Martin Asbæk Gallery is retrospective and presents a selection of works from recent years. Artist and her model is her first solo show in the gallery.