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Irene Kopelman at La Verrière

Chiral Garden

The series Des gestes de la pensée (‘Gesture, and thought’) continues at La Verrière with Irene Kopelman’s installation Le Jardin Chiral – a hymn to asymmetry in nature, combining scientific research, minutely detailed reconstruction, and an invitation to the pleasures of contemplation. 

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Irene Kopelman at La Verrière
© Irene Kopelman

The left hand is a mirror image that cannot be superimposed upon the right. Together, they offer an iconic example of ‘chirality.’ This type of left-right asymmetry is very prevalent in nature, especially in snails, insects and plants. Fascinated by the phenomenon, Argentinian artist Irene Kopleman (b. 1974) creates a chiral garden at La Verrière.

The installation is a veritable ‘cabinet of curiosities’ incorporating drawings, paintings and photographs of chiral organisms, together with original specimens from the collections of Naturalis (the National Centre for Biodiversity in Leyden, in the Netherlands), plus documents and models explaining the chiral development of molecules, plants and crystals. Part research laboratory, part natural history museum, the garden concept evokes a form of chirality in itself – a study-within-a-study of the phenomenon.

The artist applies herself to ‘the non-expert, deliberate, passionate re-appropriation of cognitive experience,’ says exhibition curator Guillaume Désanges. Irene Kopelman draws on the modes and forms of scientific investigation, but she ‘obliterates its speculative aims, falling back on a sense of wonder at the fascinating, complex, chaotic forms.’

As the presiding genius of the series  Des gestes de la pensée, Marcel Duchamp would doubtless have saluted the hybrid installation’s meticulous formal associations, its artisanship bordering on poetry. 

>> (Re)discover the inaugural exhibition in the series Des gestes de la pensée at La Verrière

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La Verrière

50 boulevard de Waterloo, Brussels, Belgium 1000

Monday - Saturday, 11 am - 6 pm

Free admission


Curator: Guilaume Désanges