"Going Places" addresses the increasing mobility of the modern world. In recent years, concepts such as transit, migration, globalisation and nomadism have become commonplace in almost every account of our contemporary society. Whether it is about the globalisation of communications and economies, the speed of transmission of information allowing us to be in touch with far away places via the world wide web, television, mobile phone and email services; or the speed with which we physically transport ourselves from one continent to the other resulting in mass tourism and the multi-cultural metropolis, the notion of distance seems to have exploded. We live in a world which is forever accelerating in order to bring things closer and make them accessible. On the waves of the internet model frontiers are being crossed on every level. The separation of the former autonomous spheres of culture, politics, science and religion have given way to crossovers between different bodies of knowledge, practices and spaces.
Different cultures and ways of living are crossing each other in every aspect of live. In the arts, a new generation of artists and curators is on the move, inscribing their work within the realm of fashion, advertisement, entertainment or clubs. The networking artist has replaced the marginal loner, as the collaborator has the opponent.
Such a world requires a new protagonist. The image of the new men is the nomad who lives in his mobile home with his mobile phone, connected via electronic extensions to everything and everybody, knowing how to play and move within a whirlpool of information and networks, while finding pleasure in doing so. This is a world quickening its pace in order to elevate itself from all ground and groundings. But behind this often euphorically presented rhetoric also lies another reality. The one in which sizable parts of the world have no power resources to plug into the world web, nor have the means to travel around the globe; the reality that the main engine of this mobile world is economic transaction to which every move is ultimately subdued, and the resulting inequality of who has the most space and who is moving into who's space. But despite all this, it is a given fact that we live in an age of which mobility has become a central characteristic. We 'go places' is all we can say, where we are heading to remains an open question.
"Going Places" is a typical English expression that has no translation in the Dutch language. Without implying a starting point or destination it refers to mobility itself, to simply going from one place to the other. In this exhibition artworks are brought together that in a variety of ways deal with notions of mobility and travel. It is a horrific moment in time that with the tragedy that has befallen New York and with it the world, our ideas concerning travel and airplanes have, at least momentarily, radically changed. It is an example of the way meanings shift that artworks such as Jeroen Jacobs plane wing will unavoidably, within the context of recent developments, evoke different associations than at its moment of conception.
We live in a moment of anxiety, a time in which people would rather not go places. On the other hand we have witnessed once again the tremendous mobilization of people around the world through the media of television and internet, enabling everyone to witness the same event almost instantaneously via live broadcasting. In this exhibition, Isaac Carlos' work "Invasion" as the title suggests, strongly reminds us of another kind of mobility in the world which we are witnessing at this very moment, one which is about threat, fear and power.
But, to add to Dr. Faustrolls remark that time and space are different ways of moving, there are also different ways of moving within it. Moving through cultures, memories and histories (Kim Sooja), moving between reality and the realm of imagination (Klaus Lutz), moving from public space to internal space (Jeroen Jacobs), the passage of people in the urban transit system (Julia Loktev), transforming travelling into art (Christoph Fink) and art into travel (Eugenio Dittborn). In the end it's all about what is inside the pockets.
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