20th February – 4th April 2015
A false annunciation. A photographic series by the Finnish artist Elina Brotherus taken form her own personal experience and her will to put focus on a subject that still is a taboo: infertility.
The title Annonciation refers to art history, but this series is about waiting for an angle that never shows up. Elina Brotherus reinterprets and modernizes the symbolism around the annunciation as well as its meaning.
When watching a documentary on the subject, listening to an interview or reading an article about infertility, it always has a happy end. But the fact is it does not have a happy end for everybody. For some women it’s a long exhausting and sad repetitive pattern of executing precise scientific experiments on one’s own body, waiting, being disappointed and repeating the whole process over and over again. A surprising number of women lives through this, but we almost never hear their story.
The artist writes about her work:
I’m showing this series of photographs to give a visibility to those whose treatments lead nowhere. The hopeless story with an unhappy end is the story of the majority. My way of discussing the matter is to give out the pictures, not to give an interview. I’m not sure if I will be able to actually speak about this. I’m still too sad.
When in a treatment, one’s imagination is quick. One thinks of names and to which school the child would go. When the treatment is unsuccessful, it’s not exaggerated to say it feels like mourning someone who died. The loss is very concrete. Not only does one lose a possible child, one also loses a whole future of a life as a family. We are left with the picture of an aging lonely woman.
The exhibition presents selected works form the series Annonciation (2009-‐13). Alongside these photographic works, Elina Brotherus realized two films in New York. Wrong Face & Francesca Woodsman’s Aunts shot on 16 mm and showed alternately at a 16 mm projector at the gallery space. Both films show a creative woman in her artistic practice – just as we know the artist Elina Brotherus.
Elina Brotherus (b. 1972) lives and works in Finland and France. She is educated at The University of Art and Design in Helsinki. Since her MA (2000) she has exhibited around most of the world and is represented in collections like ARKEN Museum of Modern Art; Art Foundation Mallorca Collection, Andtrax, Spain; Carnegie Art Collection; Collection Neuflize; Gothemburg Art Museum; Hasselblad Center; Helsinki Art Museum; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art; Malmö Art Museum; Moderna Museet; Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg; Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Texas; Saatchi Collection, London; StatoilHydro, Stavanger, Norway; The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, among many other public and private collections.