Green Lake

Elina Brotherus

Date : 2007

Medium : Photography

Size : 83,3 x 103,3 cm

In her first works, at the end of the 1990s, Elina Brotherus did a lot of self-portraits and “autobiographical” photography inspired by the intimate events of her personal life. Later she began to work on “classical” subjects such as landscapes, portraiture or still lifes.
At the juncture of these two directions, she questions, as in the work Green Lake, the relationship between the landscape and the human being, between form and light, between the universe and the individual.
“The human body, in its beauty and in its banality, never ceases to be profoundly fascinating”. E.B.

The guide

When looking at a photograph, have you ever felt you understood the emotional state of the person who took the picture? With the push of a button Elina Brotherus expresses her feelings with great talent.

Look at this print by the Finnish photographer.
What a lush environment! Enter this thick forest and enter colour. It is no longer a landscape but a monochrome! Everything is green in this image, including the title: Green Lake.

The surface of this strange lake does not reflect the sky but more trees. A sense of vertigo grips us, but fortunately there are stable elements to ground our gaze: the tree trunks create a frame and close the composition on either side.

Nothing is left to chance in these compositions: the choice of landscape, the framing, the light, the position of the models, and so on.
As for the models, from the back, we see the silhouette of a man in the foreground and in front of him the figure of a woman, Elina herself.

These photographs are in fact self-portraits, more precisely, interior self-portraits, but Brotherus is playing with us. We don’t learn anything else about her personal history. If she seems to reveal herself before the lens, it is only within a staged setting that obliges us to imagine the plot. What is the relationship between this man and this woman? Are they lovers, relatives, or simply strangers? Everyone will see what they want to in this image: whether a nostalgic image of lost harmony with nature or a relationship between a man and a woman. The artist gives us the freedom to interpret, without ever leaving us indifferent.