First Light

Sycamore - First Light, 2016



Charrière’s series of large-format photographic prints of typically idyllic tropical island scenes, First Light, explores the fraught interactions between industrial modernity and geography––addressing the atomic landscape and post-colonial ecology of Bikini Atoll. It uses the geographical context to explore another type of garden or paradise, one created and devised as a media mechanism of desire. This paradise acts almost as a metaphysical state of being, one which, through media's extended use of its image, immediately takes us to a place of comfort, relaxation, neon sunset colors, and coconut trees. Depicting water, palms, beaches and horizons, strata from nuclear “hot” sites have been placed on the large-format color negatives during their development process, documenting and reenacting the subliminal beauty present in the atrocities that shook the Marshall Islands during America’s nuclear testing in the Cold War, whilst playing with modern ideas of relaxation and commodity culture. These prints oscillate between the peaceful cliché of tropical sunset photography and the destructive beauty issuing from atomic “second suns”.

Able - First Light, 2016

Nutmeg - First Light, 2016

Koon - First Light, 2016

Crossroads I - First Light, 2016

Union - First Light, 2016

Crossroads II - First Light, 2016