Puntos cardinales is the first solo show in Argentina of work by Argentine-born artist Irene Kopelman (Córdoba, 1974). Puntos cardinales is a collaborative work in progress based on a number of expeditions with scientists, biologists, and geologists to different regions of Argentina (Puerto Madryn, Chubut province; Ischigualasto and Jáchal, San Juan province; and Pampa de Achala in the sierras of the province of Córdoba). Each of those journeys yielded a set of works (drawings produced in situ, field notes, large-format paintings, sculptures, and the site-specific installation in Malba’s gallery 1).
While the scientific research processes vary from expedition to expedition, the underlying artistic concern does not: Kopelman attempts to identify and to study that which can be represented in drawing. She first performs a quick survey of the information characteristic of each species or topography and then, on the basis of field notes, works on each of those territories or species in her studio.
In Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Kopelman engaged in study of invasive marine species like the styela clava (stalked sea squirt). In the Ischigualasto region and the Argentine Low Monte of San Juan, the artist, along with specialists, studied different periods of geological formations. With that group of geologists, she visualized a formation known as slump, which she would render in sculpture format. In Pampa de Achala in the sierras of Córdoba, the artist, along with a group of ecologists, studied a number of earthbound invasive species.
The journeys culminate in a number of series displayed in the museum space according to the characteristics of each region and each research project. The exhibition layout, then, takes into account the scientific methods and instruments used during the expedition and the field work, as well as the colors of the landscape and the type of species studied and represented.