Polygon is a series of photographs shot at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in Kazakhstan. The photographs are made on analogue medium format film, and exposed to radiation before their development. Thus they both depict the site of nuclear radiation and bear the actual trace of radioactivity's effect. Charrière’s journey to the Polygon was inspired by J.G. Ballard’s short story “The Terminal Beach”. It oscillates between art, science and fiction and brings us to one of the most remote and inaccessible spheres – to the beginning of the nuclear age. It is a mystic place – a nuclear space – antithetic to human life, and showing the dystopic aesthetics of a future archaeology.
This publication accompanies the exhibition 'Somewhere – Julian Charrière' at Rudolf-Scharpf-Gallery, the project gallery of the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum. The exhibition is sponsored by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. Julian Charrière: Polygon is edited by the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum and contains an introduction by René Zechlin and a contribution by Jana Franze.