Thomas Julier

Julier thomas head cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

Somewhere between philosophy and aesthetics

Thomas Julier’s practice is to question representation, most prominently, the representation of human and animal bodies. Julier looks at what is represented and how, not only through context but by method, and how these constructs effect the image and how it is perceived. Held within the image are its myriad meanings, and it is Julier’s aim to make these questions palpable in his works, both sensorially and intellectually. The answer lies somewhere between philosophy and aesthetics. The image transforms when its denotations are extracted, and these transformations form the basis of his works. As technology has developed, so has Julier’s practice, photography merging with data science, computer-generated images and artificial intelligence readings. His works serve as orientation markers of their own making, de-mystifying the role of complex technologies in manipulating images. And yet, we are still left questioning. What is an accurate representation?

Julier thomas ball cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

Feeder: Reaction / Diffusion, 2019
Cast-bronze, ∅ 13 cm

A textured, floating sphere intricately grooved with a futuristic topography, slowly rotates on its axis.

For TheArtists, Julier is presenting the series Puzzle of a Maze (2022), comprising sculptures, video animation and drawings. The works of Puzzle of a Maze stem from the video animation sharing the same moniker, exhibited physically at Lighthouse in Zurich in late 2022 and within a shared virtual experience accessible to the viewer via an app. A textured, floating sphere intricately grooved with a futuristic topography, slowly rotates on its axis. At a certain point the sphere begins to break up. The fragments form the basis of the physical works that make up the remainder of the series. Some of these works have been 3D printed in stainless steel. The finished results are creations both notched and grooved, indented puzzle pieces suggesting the thumb print of the maker. Collectively, the works represent the many demarcations of that moment of disruption when the sphere began to break apart and the interplay of its virtual and physical representations. Sequential representation forms an important part of Julier’s practice as the artist repeats in series or across mediums to create different access points to the object of his work. For example, in The Awakening of Johannes Leuzinger's Flute-Playing Faun, Julier builds a world around the remnants of an old sculpture of a faun by a forgotten artist named Johannes Leuzinger. Severed in two, Julier has used digital rendering to re-draw the missing parts of the sculpture, in an imaginary re-constitution of the faun, as seen in Four Drawings of Johannes Leuzingers Flute-Playing Faun. As only a half-sculpture, the faun is re-animated by the story which Julier assembles around him, collecting his missing fragments as in Untitled, 2021. The mannequin hands and original fragments of Johannes Leuzinger's flute-playing faun hint at the invigorating magic of the faun, inherited by Faunus, rustic roman God of the forest. The mythological faun (Pan, Faunus) survives to this day as a popular reference in art, music and literature, often illustrating the dark and light behind mischief and chaos. Julier’s works leave us with questions about their subjects, much like the mannequins and sculptures he has captured with photography, in the middle of a human moment, or perhaps, that is something we give to them, and they meant something totally different.

Text by Constance Chester

Julier thomas sphere hanging cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

Feeder: Reaction / Diffusion, 2019
Cast-Bronze, suspension, surveillance camera, live-feed

Julier thomas sphere close cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

Feeder: Reaction / Diffusion, 2019
Cast-Bronze, suspension, surveillance camera, live-feed

I'm drawn to fragments and inconsistencies.

Thomas Julier

Julier thomas heads cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

Assembly: Reaction / Diffusion, 2022
32 plaster heads, approx. 225 x 225 x 25 cm

Biography of Thomas Julier


born 1983 in Brig, Switzerland


Education


2010-2013 Master in Fine Arts at the Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland

2006-2009 Bachelor in Photography at the Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland


Exhibitions (selection)


2022
Puzzle of a Maze, The Lighthouse, Zurich (SOLO)
On Display, openspace, Nancy (SOLO)
Kunst für diese Stadt, Helmhaus, Zurich

2020
A Knife is a Bloody Metaphor, Bureaucracy Studies, Lausanne (SOLO)
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter at Rue St. Denis, Photography Exhibit, Zurich (SOLO)
All clothes artists' own, Gregor Staiger Gallery, Milan

2019
Violation, Shanaynay, Paris (SOLO)
Sunvault, suns.works and Studioli, Rome
Dig Drill Dump Fill Push Pull Empty Full, Kunsthaus Langenthal, Bern
Wearable / Unwearable Art, Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris

2018
The Awakening of Johannes Leuzinger's Flute-Playing Faun, Milieu, Bern (SOLO)
100 Ways of Thinking, Kunsthalle Zurich (mit Elisabeth Bronfen)

2016
Hunter in the Void, Kunsthaus Glarus, Switzerland (SOLO)
Nocturnal Appearance of Various Species of Furry Animals from the Neighborhood,
RaebervonStenglin Gallery, Zurich (SOLO)

2015
Dawn in a Basement, Swiss Institute, New York (SOLO)


Residencies & Grants


2022 ArtPro, Canton of Valais
2022 Werkstipendium, City of Zurich
2021 Arbeitsstipendium Covid-19, City of Zurich
2020 Werkbeitrag, Canton of Zurich
2018 Residency in Paris, Canton of Valais
2012 Residency in New York, Canton of Valais
2010 George Foundation
2008 Work grant, Canton of Valais


Projects/activities

Since 2022 Co-Host of the Studiologue Screening series
2016-2021 Guest lecturer at the Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland
2014-2016 Co-Host at the artist-run space Taylor Macklin

www.thomasjulier.info

www.chameleoneyes.info

Julier thomas camera cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

Chameleon Eyes, 2020
Camera platform

Julier thomas camera birds cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

Chameleon Eyes, 2020
Inauguration day, photo by Niklaus Spoerri

Works by Thomas Julier

  • Julier thomas heads staple cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

    After a Display for Sunglasses

    2022 / Two plaster casts; pen plot on paper, framed / Dimensions variable

  • Julier thomas head cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

    After a Display for Sunglasses

    2022 / Two plaster casts; pen plot on paper, framed / Dimensions variable

  • Julier thomas puzzle of a maze drawing 16 cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

    Puzzle of a Maze, Shard 16/31

    2022 / Inkjet print and pen plot on paper, framed; 3D printed stainless steel; Ethereum token: 1 unit / Dimensions variable

  • Julier thomas faun drawings helmhaus cahiers dartistes pro helvetiasold

    Four Drawings of Johannes Leuzingers Flute-Playing Faun

    2020 / Felt pen drawings of a machine, wooden frame / each 62.5 x 50.5 cm / 24.6 x 19.9 in (framed)

  • Julier thomas carrion crows helmhaus cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

    48.84723148033432, 2.3373877651102917

    2022 / 8 Chromogenic prints mounted behind acrylic glas / each 33.5 x 48.3 cm / 13.2 x 19.0 in

  • Julier thomas rue saint denis manequin cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

    Rue Saint-Denis, Paris 2019-11-16 18:16:30

    2020 / Chromogenic print in acrylic box frame / 63 x 93 x 5 cm / 24.8 x 36.6 x 2.0 in (framed)

  • Julier thomas rue saint denis faun cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

    2018-10-20 20:43:28

    2020 / Chromogenic print in acrylic box frame / 63 x 93 x 5 cm / 24.8 x 36.6 x 2.0 in (framed)

  • Julier thomas rue saint denis fur cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

    Rue de la Cossonnerie, 2019-11-15 15:15:57

    2020 / Chromogenic print in acrylic box frame / 63 x 93 x 5 cm / 24.8 x 36.6 x 2.0 in (framed)

  • Julier thomas rue saint denis cap cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

    Rue Saint-Denis, Paris, 2020-01-20 19:27:21

    2020 / Chromogenic print in acrylic box frame / 63 x 93 x 5 cm / 24.8 x 36.6 x 2.0 in (framed)

  • Julier thomas puzzle of a maze shard 20 cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

    Puzzle of a Maze, Shard 20/31

    2022 / Inkjet print and pen plot on paper, framed; 3D printed stainless steel; Ethereum token: 1 unit / Dimensions variable

  • Julier thomas 2021 11 28 pigment print cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

    2021-11-28 17-38-16

    2023 / Pigment print on archival paper, custom wooden frame / 41.8 x 61.8 x 3 cm / 16.5 x 24.3 x 1.2 in (framed)

  • Julier thomas 2021 11 29 pigment print cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

    2021-11-29 11-51-15

    2023 / Pigment print on archival paper, custom wooden frame / 41.8 x 61.8 x 3 cm / 16.5 x 24.3 x 1.2 in (framed)

  • Julier thomas puzzle of a maze drawing 8 cahiers dartistessold

    Puzzle of a Maze, Shard 9/31

    2022 / Inkjet print and pen plot on paper, framed; 3D printed stainless steel; Ethereum token: 1 unit / Dimensions variable

  • Julier thomas 2022 07 20 pigment print cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

    2022-07-20 15-46-50

    2023 / Pigment print on archival paper, custom wooden frame / 76.5 x 113 x 3 cm / 30.1 x 44.5 x 1.2 in (framed)

  • Julier thomas 2022 07 25 pigment print cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

    2022-07-25 17-08-56

    2023 / Pigment print on archival paper, custom wooden frame / 62.4 x 92.4 x 3 cm / 24.6 x 36.4 x 1.2 in (framed)

  • Julier thomas 2023 01 26 pigment print cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

    2023-01-26 11-57-30

    2023 / Pigment print on archival paper, custom wooden frame / 76.5 x 113 x 3 cm / 30.1 x 44.5 x 1.2 in (framed)

  • Julier thomas 2023 02 04 pigment print cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

    2023-02-04 15-16-31

    2023 / Pigment print on archival paper, custom wooden frame / 76.5 x 113 x 3 cm / 30.1 x 44.5 x 1.2 in (framed)

  • Julier thomas 2023 02 06 pigment print cahiers dartistes pro helvetia

    2023-02-06 11-21-18

    2023 / Pigment print on archival paper, custom wooden frame / 62.4 x 92.4 x 3 cm / 24.6 x 36.4 x 1.2 in (framed)

Cahier d'Artiste by Thomas Julier

Just a Few Drops Down the Hatch, 210 x 270 mm, 128 pages (published by Jungle Books)

Thomas Julier earned his Bachelor’s degree in Photography (2009) and his Master of Fine Arts (2013) at Zurich University of the Arts. His projects primarily involve photography, film, objects, software and language. Thomas Julier frequently works with specific places and contexts, examining social, media and historical phenomena. In his Cahier, entitled “Just a Few Drops Down the Hatch”, Julier showcases photographs that he took between 2014 and 2023. It presents moments captured in Rome, Palermo and Paris in reverse chronological order, beginning with the cover: building façades, landscapes, shop windows, billboards, signs, statues, crows or mannequins. These images are no fleeting snapshots – they testify to his sharp observation and technical precision.

The publication also presents thematically grouped slogans from T-shirts printed by Thomas Julier. Collected over a period of many years, they break up the photography pages at irregular intervals. The slogans open up an additional level of reflection on language and visual forms of expression. A prelude and a text by Roman Selim Khereddine complete and contextualise Julier’s work. They provide insights into his artistic approach and allow the reader to engage more deeply with his photographic works.

The mix of photographs, T-shirt slogans and accompanying texts creates a multifaceted whole that is representative of Thomas Julier’s work.

Roman Selim Khereddine (Zurich), who wrote the text for Julier’s Cahier, is an artist and art critic. Before completing his Master’s in Fine Arts at Zurich University of the Arts (2020), he earned his Bachelor’s in Islamic Studies and History (2010–2013) and a Master’s degree in Arabic and Turkish (2013–2016) at the University of Zurich. His works are on display throughout Switzerland and abroad, and he regularly publishes articles on contemporary art.

Thomas Julier is part of the Cahiers d'Artistes selection. Eight artists were chosen by a jury to realize an artist book with the support of Pro Helvetia. Their artistic practice is presented online on TheArtists.net.

With the Cahiers d'Artistes, Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia enables artists from Switzerland to have their first publication and offers art professionals and the interested public a window to current trends in the Swiss art scene. For the first time, the Cahiers d'Artistes are not pure monographs, but artist books designed and produced by graphic designers Samuel Bänziger, Rosario Florio, and Larissa Kasper (Jungle Books) in close collaboration with the artists. More about the Cahiers d'Artistes on Pro Helvetia's website.

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