Installation view of Julian Charrière’s <em>And Beneath It All Flows Liquid Fire</em>, 2019 on display in NGV Triennial from 3 December 2023 to 7 April 2024 at NGV International, Melbourne. Photo: Sean Fennessy

Julian Charrière

Photo: courtesy of the artist

Julian Charrière
Switzerland born 1987, lived in Germany 2007–

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Julian Charrière uses sculptural objects and images – both moving and still – to explore the connections between human activity ecology, and time. In this work, contrasting elements – a monumental fountain and fire – echo the coexistence of oppositional forces. Symbolically for the artist, water represents life, the fountain represents humanities striving, while fire signifies civilisation’s birth, but also potential destruction. Beneath political debates and philosophical reflections of carbon, ecology and climate, there lies the original autonomous state of the planet, free from all human control. Primordial and timeless, beneath us a reservoir of 1.6 billion cubic kilometres of magma flows eternally. This enormity is veiled beneath layers of crust, far beyond our direct experience. Seemingly in control, humanity’s achievements and concerns are inconsequential when measured in the vastness of earth time.

Julian Charrière is a French-Swiss artist living and working in Berlin. Charrière explores ideas of nature and its transformation over deep geological, as well as human, historical time. Addressing pressing matters of ecological concern, his work frequently stems from fieldwork in remote locations with acute geophysical identities, from volcanoes to nuclear test sites, ice fields and palm plantations. Ongoing reflection on the mythos and politics of exploration in a globalised age is central to his practice. Working across media and conceptual paradigms, Charrière frequently collaborates with composers, scientists, engineers, art historians and philosophers.

Courtesy of the artist and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany
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