The exhibition Wohin? is an intricate pantheon of the Deutsche Autobahn. To make these works, Young-jun Tak has smashed a car window (Nah und näher, 2022), nickel-plated a thousand pieces of a used Hyundai (A Scattered Past, 2019), scratched a poem on a Porsche hood (Oh, Porsche, der wahre Kronos, 2022) and erected a bulky guardrail (Herkules und sein Angebot, 2022). Considering the aftermath of the 20th-century, an era of cars and connectivity, idealism and industries, all grounded in the notion of masculinity tied to strength and power, this exhibition asks the burning question, where to now? And as such, Wohin? is an homage to nothing, it is rather a solemn commemoration, an attempt to absorb the past, while driving ahead.
Germany’s network of highways, the Deutsche Autobahn, is a modern achievement, connecting the country’s decentralized regions. Built in the early 20th-century, the Autobahn was coopted by the Nazi regime as a propaganda tool and, for almost a century, it has served as the national economy’s backbone in more than one way. Until today, the Autobahn is an integral part of German culture, shaping parts of its collective identity, and, in some cases, allowing the complicated space for German pride.
Wohin? is a world of images and objects drawing from a broad range of themes including Christianity and Greek mythology, queer and car culture. Installed according to an organizing principle, the arrangement of works mirrors functional architecture. Church-like, the space mimics an atmosphere of contemplation or serenity, bringing together separate elements in a total, almost cinematic, experience. As a whole, as well as in its parts, Wohin? is based on the artist’s concept of an ‘extended reality’, a tension between found and produced materials, the incidental and the authorial. Wohin? is Young-jun Tak’s debut exhibition at Efremidis.
Young-jun Tak (*1989, KR) participated in the 16th Lyon Biennale (2022), the 11th Berlin Biennale (2020), the 15th Istanbul Biennale (2017) among many other group exhibitions. He received the TOY Berlin Masters Award at the 9th Berlin Masters (2021). He lives and works in Berlin.