Covered Car

Annika Larsson

20 March 1999

Video. DVD 10’

The image of a man putting a plastic cover on top of his Mercedes seems perfectly ordinary, a daily routine, a habit. As a rule, this kind of ordinariness underlies the initial actions used by Annika Larsson to develop her video works; they are absolutely recognisable as rituals that are a common practice in social life, particularly in male relationships. Her work focuses precisely on that: on provoking destabilising reflections about those relationships. Her way of looking at human behaviour turns conventional actions into true rituals, into enigmatic fantasies containing a critical observation of stereotypes, of roles, of maleness or of relationships of domination and submission. All this is visible in Covered Car, a video in which a man protects his luxurious car with a cover. The slowness of the movements and the use of close-ups meticulously detailing the actions build a feeling of witnessing a ritual involving a man’s relationship with his car. Many of the stereotypes structuring that link with the car are made patent in this work: masculinity, the fetishising of the object, the almost sexual reward and pleasure deriving from contact with the finishes and surfaces of the vehicle, submission to the machine, its magnetic power, or the feeling of domination induced by its possession.