Omer Fast is a video artist based in Berlin. Much of his work delves into the psychology of contemporary trauma, often relying on the blurring of memory and the retelling of actual events through cinematic convention. Fast’s work moves beyond the formalities of the genre, pushing through reality and non-reality of his subject matter, and is ultimately about the status of the image as a tool to disseminate information, both real and manufactured.
In his work as a filmmaker, Omer Fast defines a new relationship between reality and fiction. He is interested in exploring the construction of narratives, in particular how stories change when told from different perspectives. Many of his recent works examine the shifting boundaries of modern conflict through the personal stories of those involved. Fast borrows from traditions of documentary, dramatization and fantasy, and use human emotions as stand-ins for the larger socio-political reality of contemporary warfare.
Fast’s films have a tendency to manipulate time, through the deft use of repetition, looping, and reenactment. In his 2011 film project 5,000 Feet is the Best, Fast explores the experiences of a Predator drone operator firing on militants and civilians, based on accounts both on and off the record. The film oscillates between audio of recorded interview from the drone pilot, and the reenactment of the meeting between the reporter and the pilot in a Las Vegas motel room. The work was received with critical acclaim for the subtle presentation of the complexity of this controversial issue, neither glorifying nor vilifying the pilot.
One of his newer pieces, Remainder (2015) is an original work based on an adaptation of Tom McCarthy’s novel of the same name. This is the artist’s first feature length film, and tells the story of an unnamed young man who, after suffering a horrific head trauma caused by ‘technology parts and bits’ falling from the sky, remembers nothing and no one of his life before. The film follows the man through the aftermath of the accident as he struggles to establish an identity, left with only fragments of memories from his past.
Omer Fast (b. 1972, Jerusalem) spent his early years between Israel and New York. His work has been exhibited extensively in the United States and internationally. In October 2015, a monographic exhibition of Fast’s work titled Present Continuous opened at the Jeu de Paume, Paris, and subsequently travelled to the Baltic Center of Contemporary Arts, Gateshead, UK, and the KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg. Denmark. He has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; Le Caixa, Madrid, Spain; Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montréal, Canada; Museum of Contemporary Art, Krakow, Poland; Dallas Museum of Art, TX; Cleveland Museum of Art, OH; the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; and the Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN. His work was featured in dOCUMENTA (13), the 54th Venice Biennale, and the 2002 and 2008 Whitney Biennials. He received a BFA from Tufts University and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and an MFA from Hunter College in New York City. Fast lives and works in Berlin, Germany.
Fast's work is included in the permanent collections of numerous institutions, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Musuem of American Art in New York; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Tate Modern, London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; an the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Fast Lives and works in Berlin, Germany.