Heden, Winter 2020
Nikki, Autumn 2019
FOUR SEASONS AND A HALF
Book of photography and writings, 2019-2020
Four Seasons and a Half was produced as part of Iri's thesis research at the School of Visual Arts, New York. The book reveals the photographic project she conducted in collaboration with two Argentinian sex workers, Nikki and Heden, in their work place, that is the Bois de Boulogne park, situated on the outskirts of Paris.
The book is a reflection on the political and intimate nature of bodies, on intersubjectivity, alterity and the appropriation of otherness as narrative and form to better understand the construction of self.
The artist was anchored in both New York and Paris at the time of production - a contrast in approach to gender issues and appropriation theories that greatly informed and influenced her work.
Due to the rise of Covid-19 after the winter session shot with Heden, the collaboration was interrupted. At this time, the work is non exhaustive and Spring and Summer projects remain to be shot. Iri is still in close contact with Nikki and Heden and is documenting the mutation of her project as events alter its course.
April 4, 2019
I step out of my car and go to speak to one of them. She’s having a sunbath with her friend who is sitting next to her with her little dog Churro. In front of us, her black van is opened, we can see inside the panther printed cushions, the velvet plaid that is covering what I guess is a mattress. I ask her how her day is going. She does not understand French so she asks: “Que quieres?” I answer in my bad Spanish that I just want to have a chat. I smile. She looks curious. Usually, people she does not know and who stop to talk to her are potential clients. Paths of le Bois de Boulogne are not used by anyone. Sometimes, we can see an old couple walking their dogs, someone having a run or immigrants hanging around. Many other people are going through the woods by car to access sports clubs, cultural venues or luxurious restaurants. But very few get out of their car before they reach their destination. I continue to ask her questions that bring her to give me some information about the area. She tells me that her and her friends are from Latin America, that they work independently, whereas the “girls” from Eastern Europe work with pimps. She does not like them, they are not as strong as her, she says. I play with Churro as her friend is hunched over her little beheaded trunk, I don’t hear the sound of her voice during my discussion with Valeria that lasted for half an hour. Valeria is very quick, she speaks a lot and her movements are blunt. She speaks to me like she speaks to her dog, with a vindictive tone. I tell her that I am an artist and that I would like to do a photography project with her. She tells me that it is impossible because she does not have any make up on today. She invites me to come back in three days. Three days later, the street where we met is empty. Full of doubt, I decide not to go on with this project.