Exactitude in Science: A Conversation with Irene Kopelman

Published July 17, 2014

Exactitude in Science: A Conversation with Irene Kopelman


Irene Kopelman: I don’t think of my practice in terms of objectivity, but rather in terms of creating a system that allows interpretation. It’s a different “reading” of a specific reality, but not one that is necessarily objective—quite the contrary. When I walk through the forest I often think of the Polish novelist and dramatist Witold Gombrowicz’s writings, in the sense that I try to see the forest as a conjunction of fictional signs that cohere to create a narrative.

I always have to begin with a potential project that sounds very rational: it’s the first stage or impulse, the construction I create in order to enter a situation. But then once I’m there it becomes very intuitive. I throw myself into the situation, and embrace randomness. But even with this apparent randomness, I’m always trying to find or create a system that I can then follow in a very organized way; it’s like solving a problem or a riddle. There is a moment when it crystallizes.

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