Lina Scheynius – amanda (2014)
If you do any reading on Scheynius, after the model turned photographer angle, you’ll invariable hear folks opine ever so elegantly about how her work focuses on intimacy or is preoccupied with the so-called female gaze.
I won’t object to either suggestion but I do find the tendency towards reducing a complicated, nuanced work to one or two of it’s representative elements almost always does a disservice to the artist and the work.
To my eye there is always something related to an effort to externalize and give voice to a primal, gnawing physical desire.
I don’t remember where I read it–perhaps in Scheynius’ recent interview with Zeit–where she recalls how one of her first modeling contracts stipulated that she could not gain more than a cm in any of her measurements over the course of a year.
And in much of her self-portraiture there is an element of violence in the way she documents her body that is always in dialogue with a ferociously unapologetic presentation of sexuality and a flirtatious ambivalence towards coyly implicit and outre explicit.
However, this approach to depicting herself doesn’t extend to others. The unflinching eye she turns on herself, becomes tender, seeks the wonder in light on skin, the line of the body in space–a fierce awe that acknowledges the connection between physicality and sexuality while refusing to sexualize the subject against the parameters of how they wish to be seen in any given moment.