For four decades, the Dallas Museum of Art has showcased emerging artists through its Concentrations series, often giving an artist their first solo exhibition in an American museum. With Concentrations 63: Julian Charrière, Towards no terrestrial pole, now visible until August 8, the museum highlights the work of a Franco-Swiss artist whose vision of the role of man in the environment is intriguing and stimulating.
“Charrière’s work is as stimulating as it is attractive. His practice, rooted in cinema, sculpture and photography, combines technical and formal achievement with a conceptual rigor which situates the viewer in a rich network of scientific, historical art and socio-political references. Although his art takes us on a journey to the ends of the earth and through geological and historical time, the result is our heightened awareness of the interdependence and far-reaching impact of our actions in the world. here and now and on future generations, ”Dr. Anna Katherine Brodbeck, the museum’s senior curator of contemporary art for the Hoffman family and curator of this exhibit, said.
This exhibition presents five bodies of work, constituting the first solo exhibition of the artist based in Berlin in the United States. The exhibition begins with And under it all flows, a video of a neoclassical fountain in Lugano in Switzerland that Charrière set on fire. The water continues to flow as the flames dance around the elaborate architecture of the fountain.
This dramatic combination of these opposing elements represents the taming of water and fire by man, signifying the beginning of civilization. “We domesticated fire in order to take over the world as a species and we domesticated water,” Charrière said, noting the forest fires raging in California and the rise in sea levels. We see today that it does not work. This is the danger of things getting out of hand and we need to respect and engage in different ways.
For All those who wander are not lost, Charrière uses glacial erratics to comment on the peril of human interaction. “Erratics are real boulders that have been misplaced or moved by ice glaciers and are scattered across the landscape they don’t belong to,” Charrière said. “They are a bit like cultural ambassadors for places in the landscape. “
Using coring, a technique for extracting natural resources, Charrière pierced the erratics. With each extraction, the imposing rocks become more fragile. Charrière places the stems removed from the erratic rock on the ground to represent the migration of the erratic.
In refrigerated cases, it’s easy to make mistakes Tropism for plants frozen during the February winter storm in Texas. These unusual works are orchids, cacti and ferns preserved by cryofreezing. “They were immersed in liquid nitrogen, and then I draw this layer of ice on top of the plant,” Charrière said. “It makes the plant timeless.”
Charrière selected these plants because they are still recognizable in the Cretaceous period when the reign of the dinosaurs on this planet ended.
The Entropic Blue Fossil, a series of photographs, shows Charrière perched on Icelandic icebergs with a blowtorch in hand in a futile attempt to melt the enormous chunk of ice. The photographs are reminiscent of 19e century of romanticism with a singular man taking nature. The iceberg eclipses Charrière, suggesting nature’s resistance to global warming.
The exhibition ends with Towards no earthly pole, a 102-minute film from which the name of the exhibition is taken. The title of the film is based on Alfred, the epitaph of Lord Tennyson by Sir John Franklin, a British explorer who died on an Arctic expedition in 1847. The film is a modern commentary on the impact of the exploration and a complement to that of Frederic Edwin Church. Icebergs, a painting from the museum’s collection.
Charriere filmed Greenland, Iceland and the Alps with a drone floating slowly above the glaciers. The images were taken at night, giving a different view of the iconic glacial landscape so familiar to environmentalists, tourists and artists. “I wanted to try to find a way to create alternative imagery for the venue,” Charrière said.
Charrière superimposes images of different glaciers to create a dreamlike landscape of rolling snow, icy pools and deep crevasses illuminated by austere artificial light. “By piloting the drone, we can effectively reveal the topography, the plasticity of these different places,” said Charrière.
The film is a hypnotic mediation on the power and vulnerability of nature as climate change reshapes a landscape many consider eternal.
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