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A young woman, her head resting on the dining table, points her smartphone in the direction of the viewer. Is she observing her surroundings through the camera or is there something completely different on her screen? It quickly happens that one feels observed. The smart- phone is a constant companion in our everyday lives. It captures special moments, distracts us, connects us with the outside world. We tap, we swipe, and sometimes lose sight of our actual surroundings. At the same time, there is a permanent fear of missing something – Fear of missing out (FOMO for short). Zohar Fraiman’s work “Finding FOMO” tells the story of a restless search for something we can’t find in the digital world – similar to the lengthy search undertaken by the clownfish Marlin in the Disney film “Finding Nemo”.
Strolling through the grounds of the Baumwollspinnerei, a blue area under the free-standing wing roof opposite Hall 18 catches the eye. Framed by red corners, the blue field is reminis- cent of a viewfinder on modern cameras. The motif of the young woman with smartphone floats as a counterpart above it – close under the wing roof. In her work, Zohar Fraiman deals with the divergence between the analog and digital worlds. At the same time, she encoura- ges a change of perspective. Fixed squares on the floor provide viewpoints for viewing the painting. It is an invitation to capture the work from precisely these angles with one’s own camera and – if desired – to share it on social media. Fraiman, born in Jerusalem in 1987, studied painting in Jerusalem and Berlin. Her figurative paintings, which explore issues of identity and the boundaries between fiction and reality, are exhibited internationally. For the Public Art Space on the Spinnereigelände, she goes one step further. She invites viewers:in- side to enter into a hybrid discussion space with her – via the social networks that play such a large role in her work. It is a shift from analog to digital and an involvement of the recipient. “Finding FOMO” serves as a mirror without mirrors to question our own use and perception of digital media.
Fraiman’s installation confronts us with modern self-subjectification and staging as well as the increasing interchangeability in digital media. The motif of the woman is not coincidental, as Fraiman uses it to focus on the idealized female identity constructions within the digital world. In this context, it is interesting to note that most of the workers at the Leipzig cotton mill were women and that this site was a place with unusually feminine connotations for the time. In “Finding FOMO,” the young woman with smartphone enters into a dialogue with the historical site and its history – both analog and digital.
Finding FOMO Zohar Fraiman