Melting Point Julian Charrière
Melting Point by Julian Charrière
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Melting Point, conceptual French-Swiss artist Julian Charrière’s solo exhibition, transports one into the Arctic, a kingdom of glaciers, and draws attention to the impact of climate change on polar regions. The show has been organised by Alserkal Initiatives, Art of Change 21 (an organisation connecting art with major ecological issues), and Charrière’s studio. On view at the Project Space (Warehouse 50, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai), the exhibition will be open to the public until the 6th of January, 2024.

Charrière displays two of his video works, Towards No Earthly Pole (2019) and Pure Waste (2021), that address the consequences of large-scale natural resource extraction. The Towards No Earthly Pole immersive film was conceived when the artist took part in the Antarctic Biennial (2017) and was on board a research ship. Presenting glacial landscapes at night, the film is based on Charrière’s drone footage he took while travelling to Antarctica, Iceland, the French and Swiss Alps, and Greenland.

Julian Charrière, Towards No Earthly Pole – Rutford, 2019. Courtesy of the artist; VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany.

The Pure Waste project set in North Greenland, on which Charrière worked together with Prof. Dr. Aldo Steinfeld, documented a material reversal process. The project involved creating five lab-grown diamonds from carbon dioxide molecules and exhalations of a thousand people across the globe (collected in balloons during the COVID-19 lockdown) and carbon molecules gathered from the ice cap. Charrière then threw the stones — the objects of desire — into a glacier mill, thus questioning their symbolic value and bringing hope that one day our destructive industrial cycles may end.

Julian Charriere, Pure Waste, 2021. Courtesy of the artist; VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany.

About the artist

Julian Charrière (b. 1987, Morges, Switzerland), who lives and works in Berlin (Germany), studied art at the Valais School of Art (Sierre, Switzerland). After that, he moved to Berlin and pursued his education at the Berlin University of the Arts. In 2013, Charrière graduated from the Institute of Spatial Experiments, a programme by esteemed artist Olafur Eliasson held in collaboration with the university.

In his practice, which deploys photography, video, performance, intervention, and sculpture, Charrière delves into such themes as time and human’s relationship to the world of nature. Rooted in extensive research, his work also includes collaborating with scientists, musicians, engineers, and philosophers. The artist often travels to the remote regions of the planet particularly impacted by human activity and documents these changed natural landscapes: Antarctica or former nuclear test sites, for example. As Charrière says, the locations he chooses to go to are usually “spots where many different histories coalesce, be they non-human or human, often both”. Among the sources of Charrière’s inspiration are the works of American land artist Robert Smithson, English artist J.G. Ballard, and philosophers Dehlia Hannah and Timothy Morton.

Julian Charrière, Not All Who Wander Are Lost, 2019. Hollowed erratic boulder standing on his drillcones and cones of copper, aluminum, brass, silver, gold.
79 × 365 × 72 cm

Charrière has displayed his work in a plethora of solo and group exhibitions worldwide: Controlled Burn (Langen Foundation, Neuss, Germany, 2022); the 16th Lyon Contemporary Art Biennale (France, 2022); Concentrations 63: Julian Charrière, Towards No Earthly Pole (Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas, USA, 2021); the Guangzhou Image Triennial (China, 2021); Towards No Earthly Pole (Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland, 2020); All We Ever Wanted Was Everything and Everywhere (MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, Italy, 2019); Toronto Biennial of Art (Canada, 2019); the 57th Biennale di Venezia (Italy, 2017); Deep Inside, 5th Moscow International Biennale for Young Art (Russia, 2016); As revolucoes que nos inventaram (Oca – Parque do Ibirapuera, São Paulo, Brazil, 2015); Kochi-Muziris Biennale (Fort Kochi, Kerala, India, 2014); the 13th International Architecture Exhibition (Venice, Italy, 2012); and many others.

The artist has received several awards, such as Prix Marcel Duchamp 2021 (shortlisted), the GASAG Art Prize 2018, Winner prix 2016 Kaiserring Stipendium für junge Kunst, Swiss Art Awards / Kiefer-Hablitzel Award (2015), and Winner Prix Culturel Manor Vaud (2014), to mention a few.

To get more information about Melting Point, please visit the exhibition’s official web page.

You might also be interested in attending Frozen In Time by Diane Tuft and Horizon by Blane De St. Croix.