Elina Brotherus Interview: Advice to the Young

“Trust your graphic designer,” says the leading Finnish artist Elina Brotherus, who offers young artists her strongest pieces of advice based on lessons learned through her career. Find out more in this video.

Brotherus argues that photographers often try to master the layout themselves when making a book. However, the difference between making an exhibition and a book is immense, and this is why it is important to trust the people you work with – from the graphic designer to the curator: “Giving away the power, or some of the power, to somebody who is really experienced.” In continuation of this, Brotherus passes on a piece of simple but imperative advice that her art teacher once gave her: “Be kind to people.”

“Learn languages and move away from your country.” Making use of artists’ residences abroad, Brotherus stresses, is very important: The experience of being an outsider is a valuable thing for an artist as it makes you see things more clearly, and forces you to listen to your inner voice, she argues. Moreover, she finds it essential to keep in touch with people you enjoyed working with: “Because those people will be your family, or network, or the likeminded people, and if it goes well, you can keep on working with those same people for decades.”

Elina Brotherus (b. 1972) is a Finnish artist who works with photography and video. Her works alternate between autobiographical and art-historical approaches – always with Brotherus herself as the model. Brotherus is the recipient of prestigious awards including the Carte blanche PMU (2017), the Finnish State Prize for Photography (2008) and the Prix Niépce (2005). Her work has been given prominence in numerous art and photography books and magazines and is held in public collections including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Saatchi Collection in London, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk and MAXXI in Rome. For more see: http://www.elinabrotherus.com/

Elina Brotherus was interviewed by Christian Lund in at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark in June 2019 in connection with her exhibition ‘Elina Brotherus – Playful Wanderer’ at Sorø Kunstmuseum in Sorø, Denmark.

Camera: Rasmus Quistgaard

Edited by Rasmus Quistgaard

Produced by Christian Lund

Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2020

Supported by Nordea-fonden

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