The project in both its audiovisual and LP forms was created in response to the 200th anniversary of the eruption of Indonesia’s Tambora volcano in 1815, which plunged the world into a mysterious darkness and a series of extreme weather conditions. This natural climate crisis resulted in famines and political upheaval and is known throughout the northern hemisphere as “The Year Without Summer”. Its consequences offered a view of a world where global communities must adapt to sudden radical changes in temperature and weather. Parallels can be drawn to contemporary society confronted with anthropogenic climate change, which may one day result in its own "Year Without a Winter.”
Charrière’s solo exhibition As We Used to Float opens at Berlinische Galerie earlier that night from 7–10 pm. Together these projects represent moments of mankind’s history in which the relatively small actions of man affected the world on a climatic, biological level, forever altering the planet’s ecosystem. The Bikini Atoll and these Asian palm plantation are the remote places where colonial visions of outsourcing horrendous deeds manifested—superpowers’ taking advantage for their own gain of fame and fortune. Everything from the endless vegetation of the palm plantation, laid out in methodical grid to maximize the usage of space, to the ships lining the ocean’s floor, carved out by bomb tests and now made home by sea creatures, reeks of an artificiality perfected by industrial complexes ruling the globalized world. What is most startling is the lack of transparency of these places—without a knowledge of their history, at a glance they appear as false clichés of Eden—a notion of proverbial paradise packaged and sold to us. There is an innate will within Western to return to this idyllic vision, so much so that centuries have been spent taming the wilderness and man has assumed the role of a quintessential gardener. And yet one is unable to experience the pleasure of these tamed oases for the structures which man has implemented on them, by atomic testing or instituting monoculture farming, has rendered them inhospitable—like in Genesis, we have again been banished from the garden again because of our actions.