The exhibition designed by Julian Charrière for the Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts brings together works for which the artist travelled to Iceland, Kazakhstan, the Atacama Desert (Chile), Bolivia and Argentina. His work, which is a blend of conceptual explorations and poetic archaeology, is similar to a research process which includes performances and photographic documentations as well as installations.
Julian Charrière lays out a fictitious topography, a sort of “energetic garden”, in his exhibition in Lausanne. On the ground, there are strangely beautiful coloured landscapes made from enamelled steel containers full of saline solutions from lithium deposits from Salar de Rincón in Argentina, which resemble an aerial view of the deposits; rising high, columns of salt bricks from the same area highlight the tension between a material of the future–lithium–and the time which has had to elapse in order to create it; further on time seems to be frozen in a display cabinet where the artist has deposited plants captured in a sheath of ice; finally, a video filmed in Kazakhstan, at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, closes–or opens–the exhibition on the issue of the interdependence between humans and their environment. Entitled Somewhere, the video explores the site of the first Soviet military nuclear tests, where the radiation which was released between 1949 and 1989 remains extremely high today. The desolate and timeless aspect of these landscapes, filmed in a slow motion tracking shot by the artist without any accompanying commentary, lends an unsettling strangeness to them. The past catches up with the future in a constantly expanding present.
Courtesy: the artist and Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne.