Political journey

Julian Charrière – We Are All Astronauts

Julian Charrière, We Are All Astronauts, 2014, globe, sanded with international mineral sandpaper, dust from globe’s abraded surface, display case made out of wood and glass, 263,5 x 90 x 20 cm, DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM, Berlin, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020, photo: Jens Ziehe

An almost white sphere hangs inside of a display case. Only the characteristic meridian still refers to the fact that it originally depicted the world as a globe. But any of its geographical information is sanded away using “international mineral sandpaper”, a paper of the artist that was created with mineral samples from all UN-recognized countries. 

But in this case, the worldwide interaction, which is here executed in a symbolic manner, leads to obliteration, a drastic result of unlimited acting. In his oeuvre, Charrière’s provides a platform for thematizing the human impact on the environment and the consequences for the sensitive ecosystems associated with it. The title We Are All Astronauts is also an allusion to Richard Buckminster Fuller’s (1895-1983) critical writing Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, which sheds light on these very contexts.