DISECTING THE IDEA OF PROGESS. THE KOREAN PAVILION AT THE VENICE BIENNALE
2086: Together now? asks why there is so much isolation at an era where humans are supposed to be hyper-connected through globalization of information, finance, and event culture.
Why are we so insecure about our future when so many of us are living at unprecedented levels of wealth, consumption, and freedom? Why is then the doctrine of Progress taking us closer to extinction than to our perfection that it promised?
There is a question as to whether it was in 1492 when the "Climate Endgame" began. Evidence of this is the Great North Atlantic Garbage Patch, created by the gyre that enabled Columbus to reach America, which then brought the triangular trade of slaves, cottons, textile and beyond. The Great North Pacific Garbage Patch, now six times bigger than South Korea, enabled Spanish Empire to pay its trade deficit with the silver and gold that extracted from the mountains of Peru and Mexico. Together they show that the emergence of Western colonial imperialism was intimate with nature, and that these garbage patches is where Progress meets its ends. They are growing monuments that proves that we now are the slayer of the earth, no more its caretaker.
The point of this project is that the environmental crisis has a history and is not only about recent or upcoming pillages. Forgetting centuries of industrial, agricultural, and technological pollutions by the masters on colonial lands, is nothing less than extending the privilege of the colonial era into the environmental era. Climate remediation requires reversing the colonial gyres, where reparations of the past colonial exploitations is the first step in our reconciliation with nature.
2086: Together How? wishes to interrogate our Faustian ideology of progress and how we have sought unlimited material pleasure through industrialization, colonization, and globalization. The exhibition asserts that not only the climate change will force us to make a better ecocultural paradigm, but it may also be our best and last chance to become a humanity.