Villa Empain

Elina Brotherus' series Villa Empain (2018) features self-portraiture inside and outside of architect Michel Polak’s Villa Empain, which is one of Brussels’ finest private houses in Art Deco style. These self-portraits investigate the relationship between the female individual and space, showing that Brotherus pays special attention to both what she does in front of the camera as well as behind it. Using this modern space, she dynamically plays with light, color, framing, and her gaze in an almost whimsical manner, signifying to the viewer that she is creating her own interpretation and narrative. Inspired by the Fluxus movement of the 1960s/1970s, Brotherus is able to use Villa Empain to show the viewer her artistic thought process: what it means to take up space as a woman, the modernity of luxury architecture, and how nature intertwines with humanity.