The exhibition playground / leikkikenttä presents a new development in Elina Brotherus’ work. The photographs and video works from 2016–18 are humorous and adventurous and at the same time absurd. They take as their inspiration from the ‘event scores’ of the 1960s’ Fluxus artists.
Fluxus artists were typically arbitrary, whimsical and absurdist in their work. These pioneers of conceptual and performance art typically used everyday life, random operations and humour. Truly international, they opened up questions about what could and could not be considered art.
Brotherus adopted as a starting point for her work the ‘event scores’ developed by the artist George Brecht in the early 1960s. Interpreting these in her own style she has expanded the idea of an event score also seeking inspiration from film makers, poets, painters and photographers. In many works, she has collaborated with the dancer and choreographer Vera Nevanlinna.
The result is an exceptionally rich series of photographs and short videos that turn a new page in Brotherus’ production. The exhibition, overflowing with energy, creates a link between artists over the decades. A continuum extending from the past to the present which challenges the artist and encourages the viewer to reflect on the nature of art, history, repetition, authorship and interpretation.
Elina Brotherus (b. 1972 Helsinki, Finland) works in photography and moving image. Her work has been alternating between autobiographical and art-historical approaches. Photographs dealing with the human figure and the landscape, the relation of the artist and the model, gave way to images on subjective experiences in her recent bodies of work Annonciation and Carpe Fucking Diem. In her current work she is revisiting Fluxus event scores and other written instructions for performance-oriented art of the 1950s-70s.
Elina Brotherus lives and works in Helsinki, Finland and Avallon, France. She has an MA degree in Photography from the University of Art and Design Helsinki (2000) and an MSc in Chemistry from the University of Helsinki (1997). She started exhibiting internationally in 1997. Her works are in public collections including the Pompidou Centre, Paris, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Saatchi Collection, London and MAXXI, Rome, to name a few.
Elina Brotherus' work has been given prominence in numerous art and photography books and magazines. She has published nine monographs. She has been awarded, among others, Carte blanche PMU, France, in 2017, the Finnish State Prize for Photography in 2008, Prix Niépce in 2005 and the Prix Mosaïque, Luxembourg, in 2001.
She is represented by gb agency, Paris.
Susan Bright has worked within the arts for twenty years and has a track record of innovative exhibitions, publications and programming specialising in how photography is made, disseminated and interpreted. She has curated exhibitions internationally at institutions including: Tate Britain, The National Portrait Gallery in London and The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago amongst others.
The exhibition How We Are: Photographing Britain was the first major exhibition of British photography at Tate. The exhibition of Home Truths (Photographers’ Gallery and the Foundling Museum and traveling to MoCP, Chicago and Belfast Exposed) was named one of the top exhibitions of 2013/2014 by The Guardian and The Chicago Tribune.
Her published books include: Feast for the Eyes: The Story of Food in Photography (2017), Home Truths: Photography and Motherhood (2013), Auto Focus: The Self Portrait in Contemporary Photography (2010), How We Are: Photographing Britain (2007: co-‐authored with Val Williams), Face of Fashion (2007), and Art Photography Now (2005). She regularly writes for museums and monographic books, and contributes to numerous magazines and journals.
She holds a Ph.D in Curating from Goldsmiths, University of London.