0408 [i]

Clockwork, 2014

In collaboration with Julius von Bismarck
12 concrete mixers, stones
Dimensions variable

Installation view : OBEN, Vienna

Julius von Bismarck and Julian Charrière's installation Clockwork was first created
for the art space OBEN, in Vienna. Twelve concrete mixers, set-up in a circle in the
center of the vast 19th century space, are filled with pieces, mostly stones, of
various Viennese buildings. This "erosion machine" accelerates the urban decay.
The man made rectangular shapes of the colliding stones are now rounded and
transformed back to dust.

Somehow, They Never Stop Doing What They Always Did, 2013

Concrete, plaster, nutrients, double glazed glass, vitrine, metal

Dimensions variable

Installation view : Les modules du Palais de Tokyo - Biennale de Lyon, 2013

With Somehow, They Never Stop Doing What They Always Did, Julian Charrière
creates architectural structures whose surface is gradually covered by patterns
of decomposing matter. Inside a steel and glass showcase, the artist displays
small bricks made of plaster, fructose and lactose, which are moistened with
water from major international rivers (the Saône, the Nile, the Yangtze, the
Euphrates, etc.). Bacteria progressively grow under the protection of the glass
case. These constructions evoke mythological towers or architectural archetypes
like the Tower of Babel. Through their rapid degradation they seem to actually
belong to history.

Polygon, 2014

Photographs, dimensions variable

Polygon is a series of photographs shot at the Semipalatinsk nuclear
test site in Kazakhstan. The photographs are made on analogue medium
format film, and submitted to radiation before their development. Thus
they both depict the site of nuclear radiation and bear the actual trace
of radioactivity's effects. Charrière's journey to the Polygon was inspired
by J.G. Ballard's short story "The Terminal Beach". It oscillates between
art, science and fiction and brings us to one of the most remote and
inaccessible of places – to the beginning of the nuclear age. It is a
mystic place – a nuclear space – antithetic to human life, and showing
the dystopic aesthetics of a future archaeology.


Somewhere, 2014

Video, color, sound, 16min.24

Sound: Edward Davenport

Shot in Kazakhstan, around the nuclear polygon where Joseph Stalin conducted the first atomic tests, Somewhere is an excursion into human-environmental interrelations and the constructive as well as destructive topographic modifications in which they result. Julian Charrière pursues an archaeology and geology of deserted human landscapes, exploring their past and future. It all ends where it started. In the present.

On The Sidewalk

Core drilling compressed, sand samples, samples

On The Sidewalk, I Have Forgotten The Dinosauria is an 80 meters deep compressed
core drilling from Berlin. The artist uses the rocks and sand brought to light by
this drilling, but only after submitting them to distillation, transformation and compression. What is exhibited in the glass cases at the end of this process is both a soil sample and a piece of sculpture, both an archaeological trace and the semblance of a ready-made. In its first presentation, the horizontality of the display had replaced the verticality of the drilling, laying bare successive moments of geological time for all to see. In later installations, the artist restored the verticality of geological sedimentation by creating columns of overlapping time.

The Blue Fossil Entropic Stories, 2013

Fine Art Print, dimensions variable

The Blue Fossil Entropic Stories is the photographic trace of an expedition the
artist undertook in 2013, travelling to Iceland to climb an iceberg in the Arctic
Ocean and melt the frozen water beneath his feet with a gas torch during 8 hours.
Like an absurd, quixotic hero, Julian Charrière confronts the elements in a
seemingly hopeless battle – human time against geological time. And yet, a
battle of which global warming is only the starting point. What remains of this
perilous endeavour are three photographs of arresting beauty, a kind of
contemporary version of Caspar David Friedrich's Wanderer Overlooking the Sea
of Fog (1817-18), and a questioning of our relation to nature as inherited from
the Romantics via ecological thought.

Future Fossil Spaces, 2014.

Future Fossil Spaces was first created for the spaces of the Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts in Lausanne. The fossils mentioned in the title do not refer to traces of animal or plant life found in rocks, but to the Latin etymology of the word, which translates literally as “obtained from digging”, the action of the artist consisting therefore in proposing, in the present of the exhibition space, works that are in dialectical tension between the two arrows of time, one pointing to the past and the other towards the future.

Unfolding on the floor are strangely beautiful coloured landscapes composed of enamelled steel basins filled with saline solutions from Argentinean lithium deposits, resembling the aerial view of the salt beds; rising up are tall columns of salt blocks from the same area marking the tension between a material of the future, lithium, and the length of time required to create the salt.

We Are All Astronauts, 2013

13 found globes made of glass, plastic, paper and wood, steel base with MDF
board; dust from globes surface and international mineral sandpaper

Dimensions variable

Installation view : Centre culturel Suisse, Paris

We Are All Astronauts On a Little Spaceship Called Earth, whose title is
inspired by the writing of Buckminster Fuller, is composed of 13 abraded
world globes, which seem to be floating over a table. The globes date
from 1890 to 2011, and the artist has sanded their successive and shifting
geopolitical contours until their carefully drawn territories disappeared
from their surfaces. To do so, he created a special, "international sandpaper"
with mineral samples from all UN recognized countries, a remnant from one
of his previous works, Monument – Sedimentation Of Floating Worlds (2013).
The dust created by the abrasion gently settled on the table beneath the
globes, creating new, yet to be defined cartographies.

And The Post-Modern Collapse Of Time And Space, 2013

Video, color, sound, 1min53

And The Post-Modern Collapse Of Time And Space is a short video-loop, shot in Iceland and capturing a single, accidental action: a stone rolling down a mountain, set in motion by the artist’s hand. Like the “butterfly effect” of chaos theory, there is no knowing what this initial, simple gesture will generate, only that the smallest of changes can result in large differences in a later state, in other spaces.

Dominions, 2011

in collaboration with Andreas Greiner

Installation views: Program e.V, Berlin

Dominions consists of a bacterial mapping throughout Germany and Switzerland, the artists having systematically collected microbes at close to 30 carefully chosen locations (Dreiländereck, the point where Germany, France and Switzerland meet; the coal mines of Hambach; the viewing platform at Zugspitze, the highest point in Germany; Elbsandsteingebirge, Caspar David Friedrich’s place of inspiration; Turtmanntal, the highest forests of Switzerland; La Brévine, the coldest place in Switzerland, etc.). Displayed in sealed glass vitrines, the different bacteria grew into colonies of different shapes, sizes and color, creating new, ever shifting topographies.

Panorama, 2009-2013

Panorama consists of a series of photographs seemingly depicting majestic alpine landscapes under various weather conditions, showing snowy peaks emerging from foggy valleys or mountain panoramas lit by a fleeting rainbow. But images are not always what they seem to be, and indeed, what Julian Charrière shot in this series are different ephemeral interventions, produced site-specifically in various construction sites in Berlin. The artist used extracted soil that was covered by flour and fire extinguisher foam to generate miniature, model Alps inspired by his native Switzerland in the middle of the city. With this work, the artist questions not only how perception works, but also our fantasized relation to “Nature” and the sublime, while playing the demiurge on his own, limited scale.

Tropisme, 2014.

Tropisme consists of a refrigerated showcase in which the artist has deposited plants captured in a sheath of ice – as if time could be stopped, and the plants might be preserved and archived for future use. In this frozen landscape, the vitality of matter is protected exothermically from the forces of entropy and decay. But the organisms also point backwards in time, towards the inception of ancient molecular memories. The plants (orchids, cactuses, etc.) are testimony to a geological period – the Cretaceous – which saw the extinction of dinosaurs. The artist thus freezes them like remains from a time whose memory forever escapes us, except maybe in some uncertain zone of our reptilian brain.

"Future Fossil Spaces", exhibition (solo), Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne, 31.10.2014 - 11.01.2015, Lausanne, Switzerland

"somewhere", exhibition (solo), Wilhelm-Hack-Museum (Rudolf-Scharpf-Galerie), 15.11.2014 - 14.02.2014, Ludwigshafen, Germany

"Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014", 12.12.2014 - 29.03.2015, Fort Kochi, Kerala, India

"The Go-Between", 14.12.2014-13.01.2015, Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples, Italy

"Métamorphisme II", 04.01.2015, Musée des Beaux-Arts du Valais, Sion, Switzerland

"Rare Earth", 19.02.2015, Thyssen Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, Austria

"The Future of Memory", 04.02.2015 - 29.03.2015, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria