Dialogue: Elina Brotherus and Hannele Rantala. Ateneum Art Museum, Finnish National Gallery:

11 February – 27 March 2022

3. Emmi Fock, Andromeda, ca. 1930s. 4. Elina Brotherus, Head with Closed Eyes / Head with Open Eyes (2018). 5. Hannele Rantala, Free Will (2018).
3. Emmi Fock, Andromeda, ca. 1930s. 4. Elina Brotherus, Head with Closed Eyes / Head with Open Eyes (2018). 5. Hannele Rantala, Free Will (2018).

Dialogue features works by Finnish photographers Elina Brotherus (b. 1972) and Hannele Rantala (b. 1952) who, alongside their independent practices, have been making work in dialogue together for over two decades. Through this tandem creative approach, Brotherus and Rantala offer their individual reflections on identity and the role and status of women artists in today’s world. 

Typical of the duo’s working method, the photographs in the exhibition have been made in response to themes, quotes and assignments that the artists have set each other. The new works created in response to these assignments reflect each of the artists’ particular styles: while Brotherus is noted for her witty self-portraiture and autobiographical references, Rantala takes a more poetic approach. Taken together, the works are a celebration of individual expression, reflecting on personal experiences and the subjective nature of art and creativity. 

Assignments include tasks based on quotes by Yoko Ono and Erwin Wurm’s one-minute sculptures. One of the assignments that recurs throughout the exhibition is ‘Choose works by forgotten female photographers and make a parallel work’: this sees the duo take inspiration from a variety of unknown or forgotten women creatives across literature and the arts, from Nordic poet Edith Södergran to photographers such as Hilja Ravinemi and Emmi Fock. The exhibition sees Brotherus and Rantala questioning the canon while honouring the influence and importance of women artists.

Dates:  11 Feb – 27 Mar 2022
Location: Ateneum Art Museum, Kaivokatu 2, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
Opening hours: Tue, Fri 10–18 | Wed, Thu 10–20 | Sat, Sun 10–17 | Mon closed

About Ateneum Art Museum, Finnish National Gallery:
Ateneum is Finland’s leading national art museum, located in the heart of Helsinki it houses the biggest collection of classical art in Finland. Ateneum is one of the three museums forming the Finnish National Gallery, alongside Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma and Sinebrychoff Art Museum.