Tropisme consists of a refrigerated showcase in which Julian Charrière has deposited plants captured in a sheath of ice – as if time could be stopped, and the plants might be preserved and archived for future use. In this frozen landscape, the vitality of matter is protected exothermically from the forces of entropy and decay. But the organisms also point backwards in time, towards the inception of ancient molecular memories. The plants (orchids, cactuses, etc.) are testimony to a geological period – the Cretaceous – which saw the extinction of dinosaurs. The artist thus freezes them like remains from a time whose memory forever escapes us, except maybe in some remaining part of our “reptilian” brain.
[excerpted from artist’s website: www.julian-charriere.net]
Through his travel to remote locations and his explorations into the biology, geology, and history of the area, Julian Charrière has made a diverse body of work that investigates the environmental effects of human ascendancy. Born in Switzerland, Charrière was a student of Olafur Eliasson. He has exhibited his films, photographs, geologically-inspired sculptures, and installations worldwide, including most recently at the Dallas Museum of Art’s Concentrations 63: Julian Charrière, Towards No Earthly Pole, based on his research trip to the Arctic glaciers. His work has also been shown at Parasol Unit Foundation for Art, London; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne; Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; The Reykjavik Art Museum; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.