The Third Element, 2015

The Third Element, commissioned by TBA21 for the exhibition Rare Earth, reflects upon the socioeconomic and technological demand for rare earth elements and lithium (also traded by rare earth companies and integral to certain rare earth applications such as batteries) in the basic operations of our digital society. Julian Charrière’s glass panels containing lithium solution in various concentrations are mounted on the windows of TBA21-Augarten. The result is a stained-glass effect, adapting and transforming the exhibition space: a refracting optical element bridging the spatial and temporal concepts of interior and exterior, past and future. The aesthetic quality of the colored projections, casting light on walls, works as an architectonic metaphor demonstrating the affiliation between lithium and rare earth elements while at the same time representing the changing nature of man’s relationship to earth. Here is a lithium mine raised from the ground to the sky, bringing to light the earthbound status of the virtual. 

Julian Charrière was born in 1987 in Morges, Switzerland. He currently lives and works in Berlin. Charrière’s work oscillates between scientific and artistic endeavors to scrutinize ecological and environmental themes as rhizomatic networks. He graduated from the Institut für Raumexperimente, Berlin, in 2013 as Meisterschüler of Olafur Eliasson. His work has recently been shown at the Musée Cantonal des Beaux Arts, Lausanne (after winning the Manor Vaud Art Prize 2014); Kunstverein Arnsberg; Winzavod Centre for Contemporary Art, Moscow; and the Valais Triennial. 
Additionally he creates collaborative projects with fellow artist Julius von Bismarck and participates in the scientific-artistic art collective Das NUMEN, which has exhibited at the Schinkel Pavilion and the German Architectural Centre among others.