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Julian Charrière is nominated for the Prix Marcel Duchamp 2021

Sean Kelly is delighted to announce that 2021 Prix Marcel Duchamp nominee, Julian Charrière's installation at the Centre Pompidou, Paris is now on view. Projects by all four nominees will be exhibited from October 6, 2021 – January 3, 2022.

Charrière works at the interface between art and environmental science and highlights tensions in the relationship between human beings and our ecosystem. His project, entitled Le Poids des Ombres [Weight of Shadows], explores the connections between the carbon cycle in its different forms and the current ecological crisis. The floor of his installation is made of coal and references CO2, a major factor of global warming. CO2 informs us about the history of the Earth’s atmosphere through air bubbles trapped in carbon in ancient glacier ice.

Julian Charrière travelled to collect samples of this natural record from the polar ice cap, “mining the sky” using CO2 capture technologies. He then transformed the gas, combined with the breath of a thousand volunteers, into diamonds through vaporization. Carbon in this form is its most valuable, but is also used for oil drilling because of its incredible hardness. In a gesture of reconciliation, the artist will throw the diamonds into water to liberate them from any productive value and symbolically break the cycle of use of our resources.

Charrière’s project positions the artist as part of a scientific collective, with a specific preoccupation in mind. He states, “an increased belief in science cannot be achieved without a cultural parallel: there is a need for an art which helps to give sense to facts.”

The name of the 2021 Prix Marcel Duchamp winner will be revealed on October 18. The prize was established in 2000 to highlight the burgeoning French art scene and artists who best represent their generation, and to showcase the diversity of contemporary French artistic output overseas.

Image caption: Julian Charrière, Weight of Shadows, 2021; Pure Waste, 2021; Touching the Void, 2021, Installation Views / Details, Prix Marcel Duchamp 2021, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, 2021, Copyright the artist; VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany, Photo by Jens Ziehe