Julian Charrière

On The Sidewalk, I Have Forgotten The Dinosauria

Apr 27th, 2013 — Jun 15th, 2014
Dittrich & Schlechtriem, Berlin

MG 0429-Bearbeitet

Courtesy Dittrich & Schlechtriem, Berlin
Photographer Sebastian Treytnar


Dittrich & Schlechtriem

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The exhibition features several new works by the young Swiss artist, which illustrate the post-modern approaches of time-space compression in coexistence with the historicity and perception of our environment.

What is time and how do we perceive space? How can we define these sizes? All human beings ask these questions at some point. An escape from the time-space axioms is inconceivable for us. These primordial factors are far more than just timing and locations we are able to comprehend. They define our lives significantly but are displaced from everyday consciousness. “Meet the time as it seeks us” speaks Shakespeare to us in Cymbeline.

With On the Sidewalk, I Have Forgotten the Dinosauria Charrière demonstrates various details that we have forgotten in the rush of everyday life. He presents selected messages of our environment embodied in artistic representation. The exhibition features several elements that speak to us – forgotten due to sheer weariness, even if they are immanent in our day-to-day basis.

Today’s digital expansion allows us to simulate almost everything. We can go back to ancient times; we are able to explore cities, mountains and seas. We are capable of doing almost everything – more or less always. And thus we inevitably lose more and more of our connection to the temporal and spatial limits, the “Nature” banished us in. According to that Charrière investigates the meaning of concealed ordinariness – the genesis and formation of things around us.

Sedimentation of Floating Worlds manages to unite the world in one piece – a concrete sculpture, which is formed out of stones and sand grains from all existing countries in the world. Due to today’s logistic capabilities it was achievable to deliver the stones and sand-grains within a very short period of time to Berlin. The world-monument provides a contrast to the expanding digital space that allows us to explore virtually almost all territories in the world without limitations. In parallel, 195 photographs – one from each existing country – are documenting the visual representation of the abstract form. The photos were shot by Charrière’s local acquaintances, who made the creation of the work possible – sending the stones and sand grains to Berlin. Their images show an intimate and unfamiliar view of each country that is home to our world.

In his newest work that was produced in Iceland Charrière scrutinizes the phenomena of stored time and the existential question of being. In addition to I Dig Myself Into a Hole, when Charrière eponymously dug himself into a hole in Ethiopia he demonstrated the metaphor of a life-path, in which everyone is caught. Now, in Iceland, Charrière switches from depth to heights, trying to burn down an iceberg. This Sisyphean task is an exemplification of our approach to nature and life – visualizing futility, search for meaning and the exploration of ourselves.

The title of the exhibition On the Sidewalk, I Have Forgotten the Dinosauria brings back to mind essential thoughts one blanks out in everyday life. We live in a complex system, where each object is subordinated to a multi-layered formation and order. There are hidden worlds that will become apparent upon a closer look – it is just a matter of perspective. It is a call for pluralism of our weary gaze.

More on Julian Charrière


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