Elina Brotherus Annonciation

This work retraces Elina Brotherus' work back to photographs stemming from her own personal experience and her will to put on stage a subject still taboo: infertility. Alongside these unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant and while she was staying in New York, Elina Brotherus realized two films: Wrong Face and Francesca Woodman's Aunts shot on 16mm. Unlike her photographs which state the grim reality of the impossibility to have a child in the form of a diary, the two films reveal ano-ther face: a resolutely free and creative woman in her artistic practice.

The exhibition underlines this duality in the artist’s life and shows Elina Brotherus’ wish to keep on ques-tioning the issue of the self and of the intimate. Through her compositions referring to history of art and to classical painting, Elina Brotherus reinterprets and modernizes the symbolism around the Annunciation as well as its profound meaning.Of course the angel is a metaphore because I’m not religious and I’m on infertility treatment. Documentaries, interviews, articles and TV programs on infertility all have a happy end. In reality, happy ends occur only 25% of the cycles. So this repetitive pattern of executing precise scientific experiments on one’s own body, waiting, being disappointed, and repeating the whole thing over and over again, to the point of being sick of it, to the point of almost no longer caring, is something I share with a surprising number of women. The success stories are much more rare, but they are the ones we hear of. For the rest of us, this biased broadcasting is upsetting. As though the general public should not see the oppressive, hopeless, inconsolable reality but instead a kathartic ‘per aspera ad astra’ hollywood story. I’m showing this series of photographs to give a visibility to those whose treatments lead nowhere. The hopeless story with an unhappy end is the story of the majority. My way of discussing the matter is to give out the pictures, not to give an interview. I’m not sure if I will be able to actually speak about this. I’m still too sad. This is the saddest thing that has happened to me since my mother’s death.