Omer Fast

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Omer Fast (born 1972) is an Israeli video artist. He is represented by James Cohan Gallery and lives in Berlin.

Early life and education[edit]

Born and raised in Israel, Fast spent much of his teenage years in Jericho, New York[1] while his father pursued a medical degree in both countries.[why?][2][3] He received his BFA from a dual-degree program at Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1995, majoring in English and painting,[4] and an MFA from Hunter College in 2000.[5] He subsequently got a job doing magazine layout.[6]


Fast is one of several contemporary artists who restages existing films, including Pierre Huyghe, Robert Melee and Yasumasa Morimura.[7]

August (2017)[edit]

In 2017, Fast was met with protests and allegations of racism by the Chinatown Art Brigade and others, including the Korean American artist and 47 Canal gallery owner Margaret Lee,[8] for his August exhibition in the James Cohan gallery on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Neighborhood activists called the work, among other things, "poverty porn".[9]

Remainder (2015)[edit]

In 2015 Fast released his first feature film,[where?] based on the Tom McCarthy novel Remainder .[10]

Continuity (2012)[edit]

Continuity features an older couple who hires male escorts to play out their dead son’s return from Afghanistan. The 40-minute work explores loss and grief as much as the narrative constructions of fiction and the cinematic conventions used in documentary films.[11]

5000 Feet is the Best (2011)[edit]

Fast is the director of this short film shown on the Biennale di Venezia in 2011.

Nostalgia (2009)[edit]

In October 2009, Fast’s exhibition "Nostalgia" opened at South London Gallery. The exhibition included Nostalgia, a three-part film installation that intermingles a man’s account of his struggle for asylum in Britain with a reenactment of his story as a 1970s science fiction movie in which he attempts to flee a dystopian Europe and relocate to a colony in Africa.[12] Fast's 2009-2010 Nostalgia at the Whitney Museum of American Art was part of the 2008 Bucksbaum Award, given to the most prominent artist in that year's Whitney Biennial.[13]

The Casting (2007)[edit]

In the four-channel video piece Casting,[14] the viewer walks into the screening room initially encountering two hanging projection screens. Each screen contains a different depiction of a narrative showing the characters acting while silent and remaining completely still. The projection screens are double sided and contain two additional images on the rear side where the viewer sees two men engaged in an interview. The two men are a young American Army sergeant and the artist in a dialog about the narrative. The artist states during the interview that he is interested only in memory and how memory gets mediated; he says the work he is trying to achieve has or should have no political slant. Although the work is politically ambiguous it shows the powerlessness of an American Army sergeant in the current Iraqi conflict and possibly the powerlessness of perceived American hegemonic power.

CNN Concatenated (2002)[edit]

In 2002, Fast released CNN Concatenated, an 18-minute-long single-channel video which uses CNN news anchor clips. The video is cut so that each word is spoken by a different newsperson. The pieces literally asks the viewers questions about media authenticity and gives CNN a distinct voice.[15]

Spielberg's List[edit]

The 59-minute two-channel work centers on interviews with residents of Krakow, Poland, who worked as extras in the concentration camp scenes in Steven Spielberg's film Schindler's List.[16] The video suggests that, whatever their experience, many of them conflated the Hollywood version of the Holocaust with historical reality.[17]


Fast has had solo exhibitions at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus (2012), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2010), Berkeley Art Museum (2009), Museum of Modern Art, Vienna (2007), Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh (2005), Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis (2005), Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2004), and the Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt (2003). His work has also been featured in dOCUMENTA (13) (2012) and numerous biennials and group exhibitions. In 2016 the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin is showing the exhibition "Omer Fast. Talking is not always the solution".

His work is represented by gb agency, Paris and ARRATIA, BEER (Berlin) and James Cohan Gallery[18] (NY).


Fast's work is in such international collections as the Whitney Museum of American Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Hamburger Bahnhof, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the Museum of Modern Art, Vienna.


He was the recipient of the 2009 Preis der Nationalgalerie für Junge Kunst and the 2008 Bucksbaum Award from the Whitney Museum of American Art, among other honours.


  1. ^ Blake Gopnik (October 2, 2013), The Art of Work, Hard-Core Edition New York Times.
  2. ^ Carly Berwick (December 13, 2009), The Truth Is Out There New York Magazine.
  3. ^ Barbara Pollack (February 1, 2011), True Lies? ARTnews.
  4. ^ Barbara Pollack (February 1, 2011), True Lies? ARTnews.
  5. ^ Hunter College Department of Art Archived 2008-05-24 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Blake Gopnik (October 2, 2013), The Art of Work, Hard-Core Edition New York Times.
  7. ^ Roberta Smith (March 8, 2002), ART IN REVIEW; Brice Delsperger New York Times.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "[1]
  11. ^ Laurie Rojas (August 14, 2014), Cardiff prize show isn’t afraid to talk politics The Art Newspaper.
  12. ^ Garcia, Carnelia. "Omer Fast." Modern Painters, November 2009.
  13. ^ McAdams, Shane (February 2010). "Omer Fast". The Brooklyn Rail. 
  14. ^ Holland Cotter (January 7, 2010), Is It Reality or Fantasy? The Boundaries Are Blurred New York Times.
  15. ^ Sherry Wong: Televisions, July 22nd, 2002
  16. ^ Roberta Smith (April 18, 2003), ART IN REVIEW; Omer Fast New York Times.
  17. ^ Holland Cotter (January 7, 2010), Is It Reality or Fantasy? The Boundaries Are Blurred New York Times.
  18. ^ "At a Safe Remove: Omer Fast at James Cohan". artcritical. 2016-04-26. Retrieved 2017-01-13. 


  • Sabine Schaschl (ed.): "Omer Fast. In Memorry / Zur Erinnerung", Berlin (The Green Box) 2010. (English/German) ISBN 978-3-941644-14-4
  • “The Casting” (Monograph) Published by Museum of Modern Art, Vienna and Walter König Verlag, 2008 ISBN 978-3-86560-403-3
  • Astrid Wege, "Cologne, Omer Fast, Kölnischer Kunstverein", Artforum, Feb 2012
  • Barbara Pollack, "True Lies?", ART News,February 2010
  • Andreas Schlaegel, "Nothing But the Truth", Programma Magazine, Spring 2010
  • Mark Godfrey, TJ Demos, Eyal Weizman, Ayesha Hammed, "Rights of Passage", Tate Etc., Issue # 19, 2010
  • Nav Haq, "Foresight into the New African Century", Kaleidoscope #5, Feb 2010
  • Holland Cotter, "Is It Reality or Fantasy?" New York Times, January 7, 2010 [2]
  • Elisabeth Lebovici / Maria Muhle, Omer Fast, Afterall, March 2009
  • Chen Tamir, "Omer fast, New Magic Realism", Flash Art, Issue #114, October 2008
  • Tom Holert, "Attention Span", Artforum, February 2008
  • Mark Godfrey, "Making History", Frieze, March/April 2006
  • Nav Haq, "Omer Fast, Godville", Bidoun, 2005 [3]
  • Jennifer Allen, "Openings: Omer Fast", Artforum, September 2003 [4]
  • Chris Chang, "Vision: Omer Fast", Film Comment, July/August 2003 [5]
  • Marcus Verhagen, ‘Pleasure and Pain: Omer Fast Interviewed’ in Art Monthly Issue 330, October 2009 Brittania Art Publications LTD. Pp 1-4
  • "Omer Fast: Back to the Present" in Displayer. February 2009. pp 113-118

External links[edit]