Finnish photographer Elina Brotherus taught MOME students self-expression during the Course Week

Date: 2024.02.16

Elina Brotherus, who started her career in the 1990s, is a defining figure of the Helsinki School, and her works are included in major international contemporary collections. She travels from one exhibition to the next, giving lectures all over the world. Her series Annunciation has last been on display at the Ludwig Museum in Budapest as part of the Handle with Care exhibition. In what is her signature move, she regularly features herself in her own pictures in a sometimes playful, sometimes autobiographical, sometimes roleplaying setting, in carefully selected spaces, for the purpose of illustrating scale, or as a geometric shape, or just to convey a sense of human presence. Her imaginary characters fill abstract architectural shapes with unique life.  

She gave a talk with an unusually personal note at the MOME Film Studio as part of her visit to Budapest, sharing some of the vulnerable moments of her life in addition to providing insight into the consistent structure of her art, from her years in art education to international success. The large audience at the Film Studio was deeply moved by her openness and modesty. The reception following the talk involved some informal conversation over culinary compositions inspired by her photos. 

Brotherus also held a Course Week workshop for photography students entitled Staging the Self, teaching participants how to combine a unique approach with teamwork to reflect on the relationship between time, image, and story in situation exercises involving self-portraits. Each day, she gave a new assignment based on Marina Abramovic’s, Erwin Wurm’s or John Baldessari’s work to serve as tools of self-expression and sources of emotions depicted on the photos. In the afternoon, she had one-on-one consultations with students, covering topics such as opportunities for international engagement, stumbling blocks of application, experience with art trade, plans after graduation, and daily life as an artist. The works completed during the workshop were featured in a pop-up exhibition on the second floor of the MASTER building. 

  

The workshop was sponsored by the Foundation for Moholy-Nagy University and Design as part of the Global Voices initiative. 

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