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They play with the thin lines between reality, dream and memory. Erik Hart and Tati Lëshinka, better known as the visual art duo Hart + Lëshinka, create photography, sculpture, performance and printed matter in which they stage actions and make documentation of them. Their latest work, the photography book Beyond the Clouds, is pure, poetic, somehow provocative and will leave many people shy for a reaction.

The duo got brought together by creativity, and shortly after that a love relationship evolved. With a similar inspiration and appreciation for everyday life, the human body and interaction, it was only a matter of refining their personal style together as artists, resulting in a unique signature. In most of Hart + Lëshinka’s work, there seems to be a sense of absence and loneliness with the desire to surpass physicality.

A big theme of the photography in Beyond the Clouds is the transience of time and human experience. The book, designed by Japanese art director and graphic designer Hideki Nakajima, visualises the inescapable truth of impermanence in an evocative series of staged portraits that are combined with still lives in order to reinforce the story that is shown.

A young girl about to enter adolescence, a transgender in the process of transitioning and the body of an older woman transformed by illness, these are examples of subjects depicted next to materials such as snow, ice, hair, flowers — things that will inevitably vanish. However, eternalised in photographs, they intend to capture time and fleeting presence.

Sanne Nooitgedagt

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