The Musée des beaux-arts Le Locle (MBAL) has partnered with the Réseau Hospitalier Neuchâtelois (RHNe) to organize an art installation dedicated to the field of healthcare. The aim is twofold: to reinforce the vocation of hospital sites as living spaces, and to enable the MBAL to reach out beyond its walls to a wider public.
For this third edition, Swiss photographer Lea Kunz was invited to produce an artistic work that resonates not only with the hospital context, but also with therapy and care. This series, entitled “When I can’t see enough, I use other people’s eyes”, is an opportunity for her to step out of her comfort zone: “I usually focus my work on the human body and its nudity. In a hospital context, this approach would have been assimilated with the theme of medicine. However, the aim of my project is to take patients and visitors out of their sometimes burdensome daily lives by offering them a comforting and slightly unusual approach.
Setting her project at the heart of the hospital through a participative and inclusive approach, Lea Kunz chose to bring this touch of lightness through original floral compositions, born from the imagination of pediatric patients on the Pourtalès site, as well as geriatric and rehabilitation patients hospitalized at Le Locle. From room to room, the photographer collected ideas for flowers, fixing materials, household or personal objects, which she then gathered, assembled and photographed in her studio in the Jura mountains: “The patients and hospital staff were very receptive to my project. I feel extremely lucky to have been able to meet them. In addition to providing input for my project, these encounters have been very powerful in human terms”. She adds: “Younger people, like older people, have the ability to break out of the shackles of aestheticism. They’re creative and dare to propose ideas that, at first glance, don’t seem to fit together. That’s why I chose to approach them and not imagine these compositions myself”.
Tulips, adhesive tape, everyday or personal objects, scraps of purple drapes and ping-pong rackets – Lea Kunz presents a series of unusual still lifes, each with its own story and an autonomous aesthetic that’s both singular and unclassifiable.
Lea Kunz (*1991, CH) is a Swiss photographer working and living in the Jura. After a diploma in graphic design at the School of Applied Arts in La Chaux-de-Fonds, in 2016 she obtained a diploma in visual communication specializing in photography at the School of Applied Arts in Vevey. Since October 2018, she has been working at Photoforum Pasquart in Biel. Her work has been exhibited in Switzerland on several occasions since 2012. In 2022, she presents her most personal work, Naktakt, at Standard-Deluxe in Lausanne, then in 2023, at Art Genève as part of Hors-les-murs organized by the Centre de la Photographie (CPG) in Geneva, at Galerie Stephan Witschi in Zurich, as well as at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin. Lea Kunz is represented by Galerie Stephan Witschi in Zurich and is currently working on various projects between Berlin and Les Franches Montagnes.
Exhibition dates :
RHNe – La Chaux-de-Fonds
June 23 to July 30, 2023
RHNe – Pourtalès
July 31 to August 31, 2023