Residency Program Title
KAUST-Swiss Residency Exchange
Institute Lab Title
Red Sea Research Center
Performance, Sculpture, Photography, Film
Julian Charrière (b. 1987, Morges, Switzerland) is a French-Swiss artist based in Berlin. His work bridges the realms of environmental science and cultural history. Marshalling performance, sculpture and photography, his projects often stem from fieldwork in remote locations with acute geophysical identities – such as volcanoes, ice-fields and radioactive sites.
To date, his works has explored post-romantic constructions of ‘nature’, and staged tensions between geological timescales and those relating to humankind. Charrière’s approach further reflects upon the mythos of the quest and its objects in a globalised age. Deploying seemingly perennial imagery to contemporary ends, his interventions at the borderline of mysticism and the material discus our fraught relations with place today.
For three months in spring 2021, Julian Charrière joined scientists of the Red Sea Research Center at KAUST. Exploring a broad range of research, Julian’s conversations with the scientists revolved around the (bio)diversity and resilience of the Red Sea coral reef and its inhabitants, the aesthetics and functionalities of underwater landscapes – natural and artificial ones – as well as concepts and processes from his practice as an artist.
A special focus was set on field trips to a number of coral reefs, as a tool for scientists and artists to study the maritime environment, for cross-disciplinary exploration and the shift of perspectives. The complexity of the coral reef ecosystem, its economic and cultural implications on coastal societies will provide ground for further and extended explorations – for the scientists as well as for Julian.