Related to 2012 Brighton Photo Fringe exhibition 'Dia de los Muertos' (Day of the Dead):
The exhibition title refers to a cultural phenomenon that occurs throughout Mexico and the Southwest states of North America – the celebration of the deceased. It is also celebrated with the Catholic holidays of All Saint’s Day and All Souls’ Day. The state of Arizona has a large Mexican population and the Day of the Dead phenomenon is tightly woven into the rich cultural life of the state.
This recent body of work was created during a three-month period living in Arizona in 2011. The images in the work represent a personal visual interpretation of historical, social, political and cultural elements of the region. They form part of a journal of landscapes, people and the environment of towns and cities. The subjects depicted include the US/Mexican border, the high desert landscape, the Titan II ICBM Missile Silo, Native American Reservations, gun culture, the Barrio Viejo district in Tucson and the ‘Dia de los Muertos’ phenomenon.
The film is based on two meetings with a Predator drone sensor operator, which were recorded in a hotel in Las Vegas in September 2010. On camera, the drone operator agreed to discuss the technical aspects of his job and his daily routine. Off camera and off the record, he briefly described recurring incidents in which the unmanned plane fired at both militants and civilians - and the psychological difficulties he experienced as a result. Instead of looking for the appropriate news accounts or documentary footage to augment his redacted story, the film is deliberately miscast and misplaced: It follows an actor cast as the drone operator who grudgingly sits for an interview in a dark hotel. The interview is repeatedly interrupted by the actor\'s digressions, which take the viewer on meandering trips around Las Vegas. Told in quick flashbacks, the stories form a circular plot that nevertheless returns fitfully to the voice and blurred face of the drone operator - and to his unfinished story.
My Happiness is Round, 2007, 8 min 52 sec, HD video (HDV 1080i50) 16:9, stereo.
“What does love mean? What does important mean? Where do I come from? Why do we come because of that love-thing? In my life everything is fine, maybe”. My Happiness is Round is a short film about childhood and sister/brotherhood, but also about growing up and the uncertainty of life.
Direction: Elina Brotherus, Hanna Brotherus, Lauri Astala
Camera: Lauri Astala
Editing: Lauri Astala, Elina Brotherus
Choreography: Hanna Brotherus
Music and sound: Antti Ikonen
Performers: Robert, Johannes, Amos and Elsa Brotherus
Supported by: AVEK, Taiteen keskustoimikunta, Centre culturel francais Helsinki
Slightly modified version of my Urban Artists video. Some reordering of images and a few adjustments to crops. Also have removed the matrix of photographs from the front page. The images focus on the gaze of the artist and highlight their level of absorption in their work. All the artists had agreed that I could make a portrait of them. Despite this they appear not to acknowledge my presence as the photographer.