Monday, September 26, 2016

Brotherus-inspired photograph on my third-to-last day in Montpellier

A week ago I went to check out the current exhibit at the Pavillon Populaire, a space in the center of Montpellier which always has a free photography exhibit of some sort (open to the public).

From June 29 to September 25 the exhibit was of Finish artist Elina Brotherus's photography and videos (works from 1997-2015). The displays there said that she's one of the most important photographers of her generation, but I don't really understand why.

When looking at some of the collections, such as "Annonciation," I could tell what they were supposed to represent. (That one's about her five years of unsuccessful infertility treatments, for example.)

There's another collection called "12 ans après" (12 years later), which has pictures taken in 1999—the first year she lived in France—and 12 years later, on a recent return visit:

Elina Brotherus
"Revenue, 12 ans après"
Elina Brotherus

So I more or less understood some of what those were trying to convey, but I don't understand what's so special about them. (More context and photography knowledge would probably help.)

There were many images where I had no idea why they were considered works of art. One that stuck out in my mind was an image from the collection "This is the first day of the rest of your life" in which Elina is sitting barefoot on a mattress, eating a plate of something. (Note: A portion of this image is shown below; I don't think it's the full original.)

"This is the first day of the rest of your life"
Elina Brotherus

Today, as I found myself seated on the edge of my bed, eating a plate of tielle and finishing "Harry Potter et l'Ordre du Phénix," it made me think of that image. So I used my point and shoot's 10-second timer to capture the moment exactly as I was, recreating my own version of Elina's image:

Eh, let's adjust that a little bit, yeah?

"This is the first day of your final three days in Montpellier"
Rebecca Thering, 2016

Ah, much better. If you'd like to display my work of art in your gallery, here's how I can be reached.
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