Beauté désincarnée

Juhana Pettersson Beaute 4

An interactive video and sound installation by Juhana Pettersson. First exhibited in Panorama 6, le Fresnoy, Tourcoing, France, 2005.

Performers: Tommy Hol Ellingsen and Leona Johansson, from Fuck for Forest

Music: Martin K. Glover

EyesWeb programming: Andrea Cera & Juhana Pettersson

Production manager: Amelie Dubois

Produced by le Fresnoy.

Video material shot in Norway.


6 monitors, a screen and a projector, computer-controlled sound.

Cameras: DV & DigiBeta

Programs: Flint & EyesWeb


Beauté désincarnée is an installation playing with the notions of clean and dirty in porn and erotica. Explicitly pornographic, it employs a clean and wholesome aesthetic borrowed from a Nordic natural environment and complicates the moral discourse of porn by featuring the eco porn activists of Fuck for Forest.


The basic shape of the installation was taken from churches. You can look up to the big screen and the walls are lined with the benches.

All the screens feature pornographic material in extreme slow motion. Some of the loops are only a few minutes long, others last for over an hour.

To see the material on the TV:s, you have to lie down on your back and look straight up.

The interactive sound worked as a passive element, so that the spectators won’t notice that there’s anything interactive going on. It was built using a webcam pointed into the installation, connected to a computer running an EyesWeb program analyzing the data from the camera. It altered the volume of various, simultaneously running sound and music files based on the amount of movement in the installation.

The music was calm and pleasant, reflecting the general ambience of the installation when there was no movement, and violent and industrial when movement increased.

Artist Statement

This installation was born out of my annoyance at French erotic art. I felt erotic art to be wimpy, and wanted to make something explicitly pornographic.

Subverting the idea of dirty pornography, I made it as clean and wholesome as possible by shooting on a Norwegian mountaintop in winter, employing the eco porn activists of Fuck for Forest and making the basic shape of the installation resemble a Lutheran church.

Essentially, I wanted to make porn sublime, following Edmund Burke’s ideas. Because of this, there had to be something terrifying in the installation, exemplified by the way the sound moved from pleasant ambiance to aggressive factory music.

The spectators were required to lie down on their backs to see the small screens to make them feel vulnerable and break down the barriers they erect to distance themselves from the porn.

Near the end of the Panorama exhibition, someone stole the DVDs from the installation. I remember someone reacting: “Why doesn’t anybody steal the DVDs from my installation?”


Photos of the installation

Juhana Pettersson Beaute 1Juhana Pettersson Beaute 2Juhana Pettersson Beaute 3Juhana Pettersson Beaute 5Juhana Pettersson Beaute 6Juhana Pettersson Beaute 7

Photos from the shoot in Norway

Juhana Pettersson Beaute shoot 1Juhana Pettersson Beaute shoot 2Juhana Pettersson Beaute shoot 3Juhana Pettersson Beaute shoot 4Juhana Pettersson Beaute shoot 5Juhana Pettersson Beaute shoot 6

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