Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Installation view: Not All Who Wander Are Lost, MASI Lugano, Lugano, Switzerland, 2019, Image by Jens Ziehe

Installation view: Not All Who Wander Are Lost, MASI Lugano, Lugano, Switzerland, 2019, Image by Jens Ziehe

Installation view: Not All Who Wander Are Lost, MASI Lugano, Lugano, Switzerland, 2019, Image by Jens Ziehe

Installation view: Not All Who Wander Are Lost, MASI Lugano, Lugano, Switzerland, 2019, Image by Jens Ziehe


Glacial "erratics" are stones, ranging in size from small pebbles to enormous boulders. They continue to have a mysterious and highly evocative power even though modern science has revealed how these stones were carried to their present location by glaciers moving across the landscape, depositing them as the ice melted. Julian Charrière reflects in this work on the movement of matter and further human intervention.

Dislocated from their natural sites and moved with means of transport typically used in quarries, the erratic rocks are perforated multiple times by core-drilling. This process of extraction not only symbolizes the human consumption of natural resources, it recognizes the scientific method of collecting historic geological data. With the same core drilling technique, samples taken from glaciers provide information on the evolution of the Earth's climate from the current age back over millennia.

Charrière's core samples, however, are associated with the time of human history and again, human intervention. At points where the core samples were broken during extraction, sections of precious and semi-precious metals are inserted, which are typically mined. The more the drilling advances, the lighter the boulder becomes physically, seemingly moving over the bed of core-drilled stone arranged like in ancient transportation methods, continuing the original glacier journey. However, the core-drilling procedure is one of progressive deletion and an apt metaphor for our current ecological crisis: if this process of human intervention progresses too far, the boulder will crumble beyond a point of no return.

Installation view: Not All Who Wander Are Lost, MASI Lugano, Lugano, Switzerland, 2019, Image by Jens Ziehe