ARKO Art Center – Seoul
24 / 02 / 2022 – 24 / 04 / 2022

Recently, one frequently encounters compound words containing “mobility,” such as “eco-friendly mobility,” “shared mobility,” “smart mobility,” and others. Moreover, as the pandemic has hindered travel and there is a fast-growing interest in safe and efficient movability, the word mobility, joined by different terms, allows one to anticipate an emergence of the technology that has been dreamt of. Therefore, it is no overstatement that mobility has established itself as a keyword of the year 2022.

Then, what is the meaning of “mobility,” which can be versatilely combined with other terms? Dictionaries show a wide range of definitions of the word, such as “movability” and “fluidity.” Mobility has become significant because people are paying more attention to moving from one place to another.

Upon reflection, moving in pre-pandemic life did not require conscious awareness and was therefore taken for granted. However, as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 13.1 states, “Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state,” movability is all life forms’ fundamental gesture and right to carry on with their life. As a result, humans have enlarged the scope of their movement from traveling using non-human animals like cows and horses to wagons, bikes, cars, trains, and airplanes and developed their history.

However, the exhibition To you: Move Toward Where You Are does not intend to discuss the future of mobility as means of transportation and its technological possibilities. Simply, it acknowledges that moving, considered an independent act, can be, in fact, very much regulated. While looking into the society and aspects of the experience altered by restrictions, the exhibit hopes to question whether everyone is treated equally in the structure of mobility.

As national and international travel opportunities, as well as trips to suburbs, are reduced and discouraged and various economic activities are declining, no-landing flights that include duty-free shopping are gaining popularity. Nowadays, it is easy to get lost without navigation, and AI-based delivery services allow one to receive fresh food early in the morning. And robots wait tables instead of humans at restaurants. The subjects of production, such as farms and factories, are now considered “hateful facilities” and pushed out to the outskirts of the cities, surrendering to the developmental logic. Politicians are pouring out policies for creating cities with mobility featuring cutting-edge technology. On the other hand, the disabled are fighting continuously for their mobility rights on the subways.

With a suggestion of the peculiarity of the circumstances mentioned above, the exhibition title Move Toward Where You Are asks how the moving directions of all things, including human beings, alter the structure of society and solidarity. Thus, To you: Move Toward Where You Are notes the current time when mobility, which used to be considered infinitely and equally available, functions as a means of power, exclusion, and network capital. At the same time, it investigates the multilateral aspects of today’s mobility and its operation. As one goes through an era when returning to everyday life seems almost unrealistic, the issues raised in how one moves around will keep being reminded.

The eight artists (teams) in the exhibition present mobility-related concerns discovered from their own experiences. They are about those who have to move to the center (metropolitan areas) or be left behind; how platform labor, which has received more attention since the pandemic, borrows the bodies of others and utilizes services; images that overturn the web system, which has emerged as an alternative to offline activities but are rather inadequate in reality, and that reconsider the collision between sensory systems; and the ways of turning over the state of mobility in which social minorities’ bodies and circumstances are overlooked.

To you: Move toward Where You Are hopes to inspire sharing of the numerous points and problems of movement that have not yet been reached. The exhibition will also help ask and envision what your movement and direction in the gallery can signify.