My metal sculptures started as a desire to express the increasing immateriality of our contemporary world - the concept (the impossible reality) of the pixel represented in the physical world (CUBIC SYSTEMS). As a sculptor of the void, I draw, chop and occupy the space. I route a closed circuit, a three dimensional labyrinth which systematic code I master and can rely on: 4 possibilities each turn, repetition, and an infinity of possibilities in the end shape.
Matter as a vehicle for narratives.
These new canvases provide physical bodies for ideas, for texts. WEALTH OF POLITICALLY POLISHED STONES is a monumental copper sculpture in which I engraved a text along the route each day continuously for a week. In this poetic and ironic text, the extended metaphor of metal work testifies to the social structures of domination in the too physical world of humans. The performativity of metal work opens a way to question matter.
I then dismantle the sculpture. Each piece of engraved copper pipe exists independently of the global structure and. It's just a pilling up of engraved copper pipes, a text without structure, a body without organs.
New environments are new fields of experimentation.
I moved in a new studio in Aubervilliers, a post-industrial Parisian suburb with tough socio-economic challenges. In THE EROSION OF UNPOLISHED STONES, I question my new environment as I reorganize the matter I find in situ. If I take the engraved copper pipes I originally bought at the scrap metal merchant around the corner of my studio, and integrate them to the big rocks few meters away, displayed in a 30 meters long raw on the street in order to shoo away illegal settlement, what will happen? And if I take these same engraved copper pipes and hammer them in one of my studio's pavement rock, what will happen? In the first case, the copper pipes will be detached by inhabitants of the neighborhood to be resold for few cents to the scrap metal merchant where they come from. In the second case, the rock hammered with the engraved copper pipe will increase in value each time a collector steps into my studio. The same materials, depending on the environment they are in, tell different stories.
Installation in Aubervilliers, 3D modeling
Sculpture, rock, copper pipes
Using copper from the scrap metal merchant nearby to integrate it to the already existing suburban landscape, this street installation explores questions around gentrification, displacement, the economic value of art through matter. This street installation project was proposed to the city hall of Aubervilliers to be part of la Nuit Blanche 2020.
THE EROSION OF UNPOLISHED STONES
Rock, copper pipes, 2019
THE EROSION OF UNPOLISHED STONES, COUNTERPOINT
3D modeling , 2019
96 X 144 X 120 cm
WEALTH OF POLITICALLY POLISHED STONES
School of Visual Arts, New York, 2018
The performing aspect of the piece consisted in hand engraving a text on 120 meters of copper pipes for 7 days continuously. This labour intensive performance directly refers to the content of the text.
The text was written by Richard McNally, edited by Andrei Codrescu in the journal Exquisite Corpse. The absurd dialogue between two abstract characters is a poetic and melancholic criticism of the underexposed structures of systemic oppression weighting down on the artist and society as a whole.
“How often did the president of the nation where you served as Secretary of Toilet Paper beat you?” “Two or three times a week.” “Before work or after?” “Both.” “Are you aware that of all fair weather friends, the most treacherous is the novel?” “Yes.” “Do you subscribe to the view that there are few impediments to clear thinking more pernicious than team spirit, especially in a crisis?” “Circus?” “What?” “In a circus?” “No, no, in a crisis.” “Oh. Team spirit?” “Yes.” “Team spirit is what drives a person to her greatest achievements and her most baroque atrocities.” “Are you aware that one of humanity’s bad habits is its tendency to destroy itself?” “Yes.” “Have you worked at any other jobs?” “Yes I have.” “You certainly have a varied background, don’t you?” “Compared to someone who died at birth, I suppose I do.” “Why do you suppose this is the case?” “I don’t know.” “It’s most unfair, isn’t it, that you have had the opportunity to work at a wide variety of jobs, and most people have only had a couple, or a few, or have not even been conceived in a female womb and therefore don’t exist?” “What?” “What did you do after your term of office as a government official expired?” “I got a job as a metallurgist.” “Is that right? What did you do?” “Separated metals from their ores in a foundry.”
SCOBY, Copper Pipes
200 X 45 X 60 cm
Flatiron Gallery, New York, 2019
SCOBY is a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast that the artist uses in many of her sculptures to evoke the organic aspect of her work. After learning the growing process of the material in the School of Visual Arts Biolab in New York, she imported it in France where she grows giant pieces and develops new drying technics and treatments. This research started with Iri's increasing interest in living materials and to find alternatives to organic matter like leather. For that purpose, SCOBY is increasingly researched in fashion and Iri is collaborating with people of the industry to develop sustainable drying and tainting technics.
See more on the process: https://vimeo.com/441628363
See more works with SCOBY in Bodies and Memory
Copper, tulle, 2018
70 x 70 x 70cm
Stainless Still, Light green Epoxy
CUBIC SYSTEMS vs. Chaos