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Globetrotting Collaborators:: Lea Lund and Erik K at Catherine Edelman Gallery

AIPAD NEWS: In Chicago, an exhibition of work by Lea Lund and Erik K opens at the Catherine Edelman Gallery on September 17. Erik K and Lea Lund met ten years ago in Zurich, and Lea describes their partnership as “an artistic performance where photography is the medium.” Clothing plays an important role in her photographs of Erik: “I am an elegant man,” he says. “I like creation. And for me, clothing is a kind of psychotherapy – it makes me happy, it’s my identity.” But Lea also sees his clothing as a kind of carapace, a form of self-protection, perhaps a shelter against the history of colonialism and racism. Lea was born in Switzerland, Erik in Zaire, and their photographic collaboration includes images of Erik, in beautiful, bespoke clothing, posed in locations all over the world – Brooklyn, Paris, Seville, and Lausanne, to name a few. The photographs explore fashion, the creation of identity, and the effects of colonization. Lea often photographs Erik in widely varied settings and roles: having his shoes shined; as a landowner surveying the rolling hills of Tuscany; In the Musei di Palazzo Poggi in Bologna; and wearing an embroidered velvet cloak and holding a bouquet of flowers in a 2016 work called Untitled [The Pope] , one of several photographs in the show bordered by intricate designs that Erik engraved.