The acting out of body awareness, strength and exuberance, is a narrative of physical pleasure. Anette Larsson’s vision of pleasure is part exhibitionism and part voyeurism. Her cropped key-hole, backlit transparencies often have obscure physical references (one ponders the identity of the body parts represented). Making reference to commercial advertising and the glamour industry, Larsson’s vision salvages a private and public pleasure from the commercial realm.
The intimate self-embrace that is narrated in these panels recalls the iconography of advertising. Where we see a model’s self directed touch and posture of obsessive physical introspection, we know that this message is about the fear and uncertainty we harbour about our own bodies, and the promise of the redemptive properties of this or that brand of hygiene, fragrance or undergarment.
Commercial advertising exploits the complex relationship women have with their bodies to sell products. By turning the camera on herself, Larsson points to the complex relationship women have to their bodies. Fear and shame are based in ignorance. Pleasure, Larsson may be telling us, is centred in self knowledge.