Elina Brotherus 2001/2003.
Part 1 of a video triptych, DVD loops, 13 min 56 sec each, DV PAL 4:3, silent.
The Baigneurs video installation portrays nude swimmers in Finnish nature. The form is cyclic, repetitive: a swimmer plunges into water and returns, waves hit the shore; only the places and figures change. The bodies are simultaneously beautiful and banal.
Baigneurs examines beauty through the (National) Romanticist landscape and the classical bather motif. The water plays as important a role as the figures: its colour, the reflection or rippling of the surface.
Baigneurs is a "sister work" to my photographs of the same theme. It is interesting to compare them to each other. The still photographs easily fall within the the bather tradition in painting (nude by the waterfront), whereas the movement in the video brings in uncanny realism which is absent in photography or painting.
Direction, camera, editing: Elina Brotherus