Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Omer Fast at the IMA

Omer Fast, The Casting, 2007. Four channel video installation; 14 minutes.
Carmen & Mark Holeman Contemporary Fund, Henry F. and Katherine DeBoest Memorial Fund.
Installation view from 2008 Whitney Biennial, via James Wagner

I'm not sure if it's been on display at the IMA before or not (I'm pretty sure this is the first time), but after stumbling across The Casting, a four channel video installation by Omer Fast today, it instantly became one of my favorite pieces in the contemporary collection.

Not all of Fast's work has completely resonated with me but this piece is flawless in it's execution. Fast has intertwined two stories by the same person he interviewed in Texas as he was about to go out on his second tour of duty in Iraq. The subject tells of a brief romantic encounter he had with a psychotic young red head in Germany and how he accidentally shot an Iraqi civilian on his first tour. Certainly an overt commentary on America's participation in the war at the time this was created (2007), but Fast has made this piece highly personal. A war that is taking place thousands of miles away, with drone airplanes and laser guided missiles, is made all the more real and tangible by seemlessly coupling it with a story we can all relate.

I missed this piece at the Whitney last year, I'm glad I'll be able to make multiple trips to spend some q.t. with it now that it's in our backyard. Thanks IMA.

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