The exhibition "Recalculating Route" is presented as part of the 4th international Mediations Biennale Poznań, Poland. A joint frame of art events and exhibitions held this year in 14 cities around the world under the umbrella title "Post-Globalism," it strives to create a network between different, remote cities, including New York and Hiroshima, Istanbul and Hanover, Petach Tikva (Israel) and Maputo (Mozambique), San Diego and Montevideo (Uruguay). The Biennale's subtitle, "When Nowhere Becomes Here," reflects the confusing current state of affairs in which countries strive to maintain geographical borders and national identities, and at the same time transpire as active players in a global market which threatens anything perceived as "local."
The roots of globalism go back to the years of the great migration of nations in the Middle Ages, extending all the way to our time, through the exploration of continents in the 15th century, the Industrial Revolution in Europe and the height of colonialism in the 19th century, which established an economic and cultural Western hegemony in the spirit of progress and modernity around the world. At the end of the 20th century, in the wake of the Cold War and the fall of the Iron Curtain, globalization processes presented themselves as an extreme realization of colonialism, which dissolves cultural distinctions and subordinates East and West, center and peripheries, to the values of democracy and liberal economy. In our post-global present, however, it is rather the hegemonic centers that seem to disintegrate from within as if they contracted an autoimmune disease.
The digital revolution created the illusion of a world without borders and a promise for freedom of movement for people, commodities, and information; today, however, it has already become clear that the ramified commercial and virtual connections and the tangle of multinational economy have introduced an old-new colonialist oppression under the auspices of international law. Forecasts today appraise the number of migrants moving around the world to reach approximately one billion in the next fifty years—an unprecedented emigration crisis that will shatter entirely the distinction between permanent urban habitation and nomadism. Will the accelerated movement free mankind or will it rather lead to new slavery which objectifies people as if they were commodities? What kind of geography will be created in a world whose borders are fluid? Perhaps this state of affairs introduces us to a new opportunity: the ability to constitute a geography of dynamic identities in which each subject is required to constantly navigate between numerous forces.
The exhibition reflects the experience of transition to a disillusioned post-global world in the work of contemporary artists who function as double agents, oscillating between the local and the global, tradition and innovation, nationality and internationality, creation and production, labor and goods. It proposes a journey between real and imaginary realms, between textual routes of movement and sights which float in unison on the scanner of the collective unconscious. It echoes epic quests (from Odysseus to Gulliver) in the regions of the imagination and spirit, alongside real journeys of exploration, conquest, and commerce. Unfolding amid the voyage images is the sea as a multifaceted site where the real implodes into the virtual, a refuge of imagination and fantasy for the physically bound and those unable to move.