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Julian Charrière, Towards No Earthly Pole, 2019, 4K video, color, sound, 104 minutes.

Julian Charrière, Towards No Earthly Pole, 2019, 4K video, color, sound, 104 minutes.

Julian Charrière

Sean Kelly Gallery

The earliest signs of nature gone awry in the classic 1954 black-and-white Godzilla are essentially moments of monochromatic abstraction: A glimmer of light roils the ocean’s surface from below, then a slick, rutted mound—ostensibly a reptilian back—emerges from the waterline. Towards No Earthly Pole (all works 2019)—the 104-minute video in Julian Charrière’s solo show at Sean Kelly Gallery—samples some of the cinematic language of this and other early creature features, using discomfitingly unrecognizable forms to evoke the sublime horror of untamed wilderness. But here, ambiguity never lets up. Instead, Charrière forges a trance-inducing montage of his subjects: nighttime vistas of glaciers and polar terrain. An opening scene of heavy snowfall gives way to a succession of geomorphic surfaces, emerging and then fading back into the gloom, so foreign that they send the mind scrambling to

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