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Nights at the Circus
Photographs by Irina Ionesco

| Published 31 March 2008 in Dazed & Confused Magazine

Born into an eastern European circus before moving to Paris as a teenager, Irina Ionesco's photography is defined by fantasy, performance and theatre – not least in her renowned portraits of her teenage daughter, Eva.

It's not every photographer that is influenced by their early work as a snake charmer. But then nothing about Irina Ionesco is average, from the dramatic theatrical community she was brought up in, to her controversial photographs of her daughter Eva. It's for these – often nude – photos of Eva from the 1970's that Ionesco is most well known. For her, they reflect the early loss of her own mother and stimulate her complex relationship with her daughter For her critics, such as the Canadian authorities who seized her work at customs, they are dubious erotica worthy of censorship.

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