Elina Brotherus is a Finnish photographer with degrees in analytical chemistry and photography. She uses a medium format camera and shoots ‘straight’ (Pulver, 2011).
In 2015 she produced a series entitled ‘Les Femmes de la Maison Carré’ featuring the only house in France designed by the architect Alvar Aalto. Brotherus poses in each of the images, often using reflective surfaces (a device she enjoys), to cause the viewer to question who the woman is, what is she doing and why is she there. In the words of Brotherus:
the human presence awakens it
(Brotherus, 2015) (Brotherus, 2015)
All the images feature Brotherus with a deadpan face. This is a technique she employs because to her it offers the viewer no help in understanding the image. To me her presence and stoney face are both deliberate mechanisms to hold the viewer looking at what could otherwise appear as a rather mundane uninteresting image.
Brotherus, E. (2015). Salle à manger. [image] Available at: http://www.elinabrotherus.com/photography/#/les-femmes-de-la-maison-carre/ [Accessed 19 Jun. 2018].
Brotherus, E. (2015). Salon 1. [image] Available at: http://www.elinabrotherus.com/photography/#/les-femmes-de-la-maison-carre/ [Accessed 19 Jun. 2018].
Pulver, A. (2011). Photographer Elina Brotherus’s best shot. [online] The Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2011/feb/09/photography-elina-brotherus-best-shot [Accessed 19 Jun. 2018].