The Internet, and specifically social media, has touched every part of our real lives. But the biggest change may have taken place inside ourselves.
Where is the line between the performance we put on to get that one perfect selfie and our actual face? Where is the truth of our daily existence amid all the gorgeous plates of food and artsy portraits of gutters on Instagram? Does anything exist — is it part of us — if it’s not shared?
When Black & White Gallery curator Sasha Okshteyn looked at these questions — at the human impact of the fully digitized life that we’re all now born into — she came up with a one-word answer: anxiety.
Specifically, the modern phenomenon of endless FOMO, the "fear of missing out" that also serves as the title of her new exhibit opening Friday night with a reception from 7-10 p.m. Five artists’ works will all speak to the way social media distorts reality, and anxiety alters our identity.
The exhibit actually begins amid Anastasia Ax's paper bales, left over from the gallery's recent showing of her performance piece "The World as of Yesterday." Even when you’ve come to see something new, what greets you is the evidence that you’ve already missed something else.
Joe Bochynski's Civics (Lessons?) panels collect his efforts at leaving a legacy as engravings on heavy ceramics, reminiscent of plaques and tombstones. Would our daily actions change if we acknowledged that they all have the potential to be important?
The theatrical photographs of Rachel Stern bridge the chasm between the ordinary and dressed-up versions of ourselves by throwing her subjects back to obviously important historical moments like ancient Greece and the Renaissance.
The overall theme seems to echo the message of the meditation movement: commitment to the moment. Everything is important — and when you live with mindfulness instead of anxiety, you won’t miss a thing.
Jan. 8-Feb. 24
Friday-Sunday, 1-6 p.m.
Black & White Gallery / Project Space, 56 Bogart St. Brooklyn