Julian Charrière: Towards No Earthly Pole
Sean Kelly, New York, is pleased to present Towards No Earthly Pole, Julian Charrière’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. Recognized as one of the most innovative and prominent artists of his generation, Julian Charrière is renowned for a complex discipline that links artistic and scientific inquiry, coalescing ecology, geology, archaeology, physics, historical inquiry, and nomadic exploration. Centered around the US premiere of Charrière’s video work of the same name, the exhibition continues Charrière’s exploration into how human civilization and the natural landscape are inextricably linked.
Charrière conceived the film, Towards No Earthly Pole, while aboard a Russian research ship for the first Antarctic Biennale. The powerful impression made on him by the Antarctic landscape and his readings of accounts of early 20th-century exploration led him to focus on Iceland, Greenland, the Rhône and Aletsch glaciers and Mont Blanc in France. This meditative 102-minute film, the result of a series of expeditions made between 2017-2019, combines footage taken from each of the locations.
Filmed at night, the dazzling landscapes Charrière captured are dramatically lit by a spotlight carried on a drone; as light tracks across the dark terrain, incredible shapes and tonalities of an almost otherworldly nature are revealed. Towards No Earthly Pole offers a unique vision of polar landscapes, inviting a unique consideration of their mythos, delicate ecology, and fraught geopolitical condition.
Exhibited in conjunction with the film are four sculptures titled Not All Who Wander Are Lost, 2019. A series of perforated boulders, which rest atop beds of core samples that were drilled and removed from each mass, reflect on the movement of matter.
In addition to these sculptures and a suite of related photographs in the front gallery, Charrière’s film And Beneath It All Flows Liquid Fire, 2019 is on view in the lower gallery. Filmed in Lugano, Switzerland, the video shows the Antonio Bossi Fountain in the Piazza Riziero Rezzonico at night, spewing fire to create a sense of ambiguity. Society has regarded fossil fuels as limitless, however, the exhaustion of these resources and the consequences of their destructive forces becomes inevitable. Charrière’s fountain combines these themes to stress the coexistence of both elements and forces.
Throughout the exhibition, in direct and complex ways, Julian Charrière juxtaposes fire and ice, harnessing their oppositional nature to symbolize change and transformation.
Towards No Earthly Pole
31.01.2020 – 21.03.2020