There is gas under the tundra is long term project of massive scale. During three polar winters Charles Xelot explored the Arctic industry of gas production in the Yamal Peninsula, Russia. This photographic series illustrate the humanity’s appetite for energy and the realities of its gargantuan production. The naked tundra, which was once traversed by herds of reindeer and their herders, the Nenets, is now filled with pipes and flares. Tankers and ice-breakers navigate along the coast illuminating the night.



Du gaz sous la toundra

galerie Sit Down

11.03.2020 – 18.04.2020


Born in 1985. Charles Xelot works and lives between Paris and Saint-Petersburg.

Charles Xelot is a photographer specialized in Russia. Exploring the limit between art and documentary, he devoted himself for many years to the deepening of a subject. His favorite themes are related to social and environmental changes. His work is not time sensitive. Specialized in the creation of exclusive art book he collaborated with different foundations like the Neva Foundation in Geneva or the Timchenko Foundation in Moscow. He has published in few magazines like the British Journal of Photography, Figaro Magazine or Greenpeace magazine.

His photographs have been exhibited in museums like the Borusan Contemporary museum in Istanbul or the MMOMA in Moscow and is part of different important collections. He has published five books.


 2008 Engineer diploma – ENSIL (École Supérieure d’Ingénieur de Limoges)

 2009 School of photography “Image Ouverte”

 2009 Assistant of Anne Garde

 2010-2015 Assistance and collaboration with Ahmet Ertug.

Independent photographer since 2010.

Personal Exhibitions (Selection)


Sabetta”, MOMMA, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Russia



The Holy Abodes of the Russian Soul”, Winzavod Art Center, Moscow, Russia

“Tykkylumi”, Gallery of the Atelier 55, Megève, France



Tykkylumi”, La Cité Radieuse le Corbusier, Marseille, France


 “Etats de mer”, 6 j’avais su, Marseille, France



“Oll Terminal” Gallery Cimaise, Geneva, Switzerland
“Russian Forest”, Gallery Cimaise, Geneva, Switzerland


Forest”, Gallery Le Village, Geneva, Switzerland

Collective Exhibitions (Selection)


– Censored exhibition, Copenhagen month of photography, Denmark


– Discovery Award, Encontros da Imagen, Braga, Portugal

“Summer Selection”, Neil Folberg Vision Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel

– Projection at Voix Off Festival, Arles, France

“Je n’attendrai pas que l’on me pardonne”, Space For Photography Gallery, Arles, France

– Projection at MOPLA, Los Angeles, United States

– Arte Laguna, Venezia, Italy

  •  2017

  • – ISRAEL Photo festival, Tel Aviv, Israel

  • “Monastery of Russia”, Tverskaya Boulevard, Moscow, Russia

  • “Gas Arctique”, Galerie de l’Atelier 55, Megève, France

  • “Arctic” Kremlin concert hall 


  •  2014

  • – Photography, Gallery of the Atelier 55, Megève, France


– Photographic Installation, Orangerie de Vandoeuvres, Geneva, France



– Museum of the Borusan collection, Istanbul, Turkey



– British journal of Photography, January 2019

– Greenpeace Magazine, February 2019

– Domus Magazine, March 2019

– National geographic web, March 2019

– Wired web, March 2019



– FotoMagazin XXL, September 2018, Germany

– Catalogue Arte Laguna Venezia

– Xleb Magazine, Russia



– Russian Monasteries, le Figaro Magazine, 11-2014, text by J.C Buisson



– Catalogue of the Borusan art collection, text by Lindsay Ganter



“Living dress”, Dress code magazine, Russia



– Finalist Albert Kahn award



– Finalist Albert-Kahn award

– AFAR photography award

– Best emerging photographer by Lensculture

– Discovery award, Encontros da Imagem

– Winner editorial photography, TIFA



– Winner editorial photography, MIFA

– Winner category environment editorial, IPA

– Shortlisted, Metier Award, Tel Aviv

– Award in the category “Beaux-Livres” at “La Nuit du Livre”, Paris
  • “Terminal” Book of photographs on the construction of the biggest oil terminal of Europe, in Russia.
  • This fine art book including a great design work (cover in aluminium, 7 colors printing on a creation paper…) was given during the opening ceremony of the terminal. (Limited Edition)
  • “The Holy Abode of the Russian soul”, 120 photographs of 21 Russian monasteries in a luxurious and limited edition. Project done with the support of the Neva fund and published by the Cherche Midi in November 2014. The book won the price in the category “Beaux-livres” at “la nuit du livre 2015” in Paris.
  • “Valaam”, photographs, conception and edition of a luxurious large format book (35x40cm), limited edition of 200. Book done to celebrate the 25 years of the re-opening of the Valaam monastery in Russia
  • “Forest” September 2017 at the Editions Phinera. Art book showcasing the “forest” work. 
  • “Resurrection”, October 2017 at the « éditions du Cerf, Paris ». Photo book about the resurrection of the Russian Orthodox Church.