As the recipient of the GASAG Art Prize 2018, Julian Charrière creates a multimedia spatial installation for the Berlinische Galerie that takes visitors underwater in the Pacific Ocean.
Julian Charrière is a French-Swiss artist based in Berlin. A former student of Olafur Eliasson at the Institut für Raumexperimente, Charrière’s art explores post-romantic constructions of nature, staging tensions between deep or geological timescales and those relating to mankind.
Seventy years after the United States began testing thermonuclear weapons at Bikini Atoll, the artist set off on an expedition to an area rendered permanently uninhabitable for human life as a result of the environmental contamination. “As we used to float” is a physical, three-dimensional experience that reveals the legacy of those atomic tests both above and below sea level. These unintentional monuments symbolise the interaction between anthropogenic and natural transformations. For Julian Charrière, they also mark the point in history when humans became one of the biggest factors influencing biological, geological and atmospheric processes on Earth.