April 13 - June 1, 2024
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10 impasse Saint Claude
75003 Paris France

Room 1

Buried Sunshines Burn

In the photographic series Buried Sunshines Burn, Charrière dives into the seeping asphaltum and bituminous residues of industrialization, exploring the crude histories of oil extraction. For these works he utilizes heliography, one of the medium’s oldest techniques developed in 1822 by French inventor Nicéphore Niépce. From a bird’s eye perspective, the series surveys Californian oil fields, where the subterranean discovery of petroleum in the late 19th century transfigured a vast and desolate Los Angeles basin into a megacity sprawl. The aerial views of the oil fields reveal winding rivers of hydrocarbons, seemingly coagulating just below the surface of our reality.

A Stone Dream of You

In this new series of lava stone sculptures, Charrière populates the space with volcanic creatures, seemingly crawling through the space like isopods on a seafloor. Dotted with obsidian eyes, these artworks gaze at us from a liminal space somewhere between stratigraphy and reality. Made with local basalt rock from Mexico and orbs of volcanic glass, these sculptures plunge the visitor into the geological underworld, where immense pressure and volcanic heat give birth to mineral chimaeras. The watchful eyes of the sculptures are also a reminder of the animism left behind in our progression towards a historically more dualistic and anthropocentric worldview.

And Beneath It All Flows Liquid Fire

In this film, Charrière’s fountain depicts an absurd state that implies the coexistence of opposite elements, water and fire. The artist turns the traditional iconography of the fountain on its head in symbolic terms too: the connection with water and the concept of a spring of life now dominated by flames. Fire has an ambiguous meaning, for it is not just an element of destruction but is also considered humankind’s oldest conquest, corresponding to the beginning of civilization. It is juxtaposed here together with an ancient symbol of its earliest settlement: the fountain, questioning our control of such elements in light of an increasingly erratic environmental future.

Room 2

Panchronic Garden

From Carboniferous forests to the smokestacks of the Industrial era, Panchronic Garden journeys some 300 million years through time, inviting visitors to commune with the woodlands that today constitute our coal fields.

Inside this large-scale immersive installation, the visitor is steeped in darkness, surrounded by vegetation. The vegetal presence is represented by horsetails, ferns and cycads, along with other species which reach back to the biomes that deep time would transfigure into hydrocarbons. Desaturated by infrared lights, this foliage appears blackened, reverberating in red. Entering this subterranean world, the visitor navigates a floor paneled with anthracite, while crackling sounds appear to rush around them. Produced using specialized contact microphones and sensors, Panchronic Garden sonically relays the umwelt of the greenery it hosts, acknowledging the agency of plants as integral co-producers of life on this planet. It is through their transformation of solar energy into matter, that plants have bequeathed altered environs for future generations. In turn, their fossilized sunshine becomes archives of former eras, releasing memories of long dead habitats when burnt as fuel.

Panchronic Garden walks the visitor back, or perhaps forwards, in time, lapsing occasionally into stroboscopic flashes. Within these bright breakages, the forest is again revealed as green and mirror walls lapse into infinity: building a cosmic bridge between seed and coal seam.

Room 3

Controlled Burn

Soaring through an aerial landscape of imploding fireworks, Controlled Burn invites the viewer on a journey through deep time. Stemming from the disorientating voyage of the eponymous film, this new photographic series brings together whirling smoke and fire, taking in the cooling tower of an abandoned power plant and an open pit coal mine. The imagery of these structures, each conceived for the extraction and processing of natural resources, is set in a cosmic sea of pyrotechnics. With the detonations documented by the artist on site, the series is a visual speculation on the energy release produced by industrial terraforming and our desire to countermand the environmental degradation it causes.

Through it Charrière envisions a future where we have usurped our dependence on burning fossil fuels, and instead live in equilibrium with the elemental forces of sun, water and wind.