Byung Hul-chang, exposes that we are now living in the ‘ achievement society’, in which the concept of freedom has become a new way of coercion: ‘Although the achievement-subject deems itself free, in reality it is a slave. In so far as it willingly exploits itself without a master, it is an absolute slave. There is no master forcing the achievement-subject to work. Yet all the same it is absolutizing bare life and labour.’ The achievement-subject can be exemplified in the corporates. That is particularly present in the salary of bonuses when corporations are seducing workers with the idea that there exists a better future with more commodity access. With the bonus, the salary became something that cannot fully be determined but neither can the work efficiency too. In that context the magical elixir of prosperity is presented as the seduction for exploitation in the present. Living in a present in which our existence pretends to be reduced to our work performance and considering that any work efficiency will be never enough for corporations, the photographic series ‘Already but not yet’ exposes the difficulties and perhaps the impossibility to accomplish any personal and professional fulfilment in our present society. Neoliberalism in terms of the conditions of the self seems to look for ongoing development projects. Subjects who are seduced by the illusion of a better future are experiencing the anxiety and the frustration of being always in a journey towards professional fulfilment which seems not to have a defined arrival. With the aim of exploring the hidden ways of surveillance and labour control in neoliberalist society, this series is challenging official and conventional representations of the metropolis, transforming it from mundane life into something uncanny.
‘Already but not yet’. City of London Corporation 2015-1018. Series of 19 pictures