The work of Lea Kunz (*1991, CH) is based on encounters, often with people close to her, sometimes with almost strangers, whom she invites to be photographed. In semi-abandoned interiors or in the fir forests that surround her house in the Jura, she captures collective and individual choreographies, as improvised as they are unbridled. The naked bodies and gestures of the protagonists are never explicit, neither seductive nor sexual, neither brawls nor rituals. Grace is accidental, confusion and awkwardness become liberating, and tenderness is met with loving brutality.
At a time when beauty standards and the ceaseless optimisations imposed on the body are being countered ever more resolutely, as is the systematic sexualisation of nudity, the body often remains central to gender identity and sexual orientation of individuals. In this context, Lea Kunz’s unclassifiable work offers emancipatory representations of the naked body. Since 2015 she has been composing a growing body of images, which does not function in traditional series, and which refuses to adopt a single, precise and defined direction. Drawn from this vast archive, the proposal for the Award 2023 is centred on an intimacy that has more to do with friendship than sexuality, alternating moments of affection, tension, grappling or playfulness that do not submit to any external imposition.
This exhibition has been produced in partnership with standard/deluxe. At Palexpo, booth D21