EXHIBITIONS OMER FAST
By using the eye witness as his source artist Omer Fast builds meticulous filmed narratives, like the one in Nostalgia (2009).
GUIDED TOURS IN THE EXHIBITION
Sunday July 10th at 2 PM (English)
Wednesday July 20th at 5 PM (English)
Friday August 5th at 5 PM (Norwegian)
Wednesday August 10th at 5 PM (Norwegian)
By using the eye witness as his source, Omer Fast builds his meticulous filmed narratives on experienced life. His works balance in between the plausible and the fictional, and the nerve running through the loops, screens and projections is that of sympathy, possibly even empathy. Nostalgia (2009) is a three part video loop work that takes as its starting point interviews with immigrants to the UK. The immigrants become the storytellers, and through what will seem like a post-apocalyptic society to European eyes we ourselves are turned into eyewitnesses of the immigrant’s obstacles and hurdles as “we” try to seek refuge in the alluringly peaceful and prosperous Africa.
The proposition in the work is simple enough and puts a situation real to many on its head, which is an old trick of the storyteller trade utilised to let “truth” shine through. But the proposition of the work also creates a complex web of questions important to the Northern European context. It is naïve to think that everyone, had they had the opportunity, will uproot and migrate. At the same time it is naïve to think that any and all migration is voluntary. In the tension between these statements is a vast landscape of reasons, duties, hopes, dreams and forces. Unfortunately we are not able to see this landscape in the media images and broadcast debates, which make this particular art work an important piece to see, discuss and experience.By taking advantage of the inherent ideals of video art, that of avoiding the strictly documentary, strictly narrative, strictly fictional, strictly anything, Fast has the ability to create the nuances that easily disappear in the mainstream and intensify certain aspects of current debate. Now, this can of course be said about much art and many an artist, but it is worth repeating one too many times, to remind ourselves that life truly is many faceted.
Omer Fast (1972, Jerusalem), lives and works in Berlin. His recent solo exhibitions include in 2009 the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the South London Gallery, England and in 2011 Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne; La Caixa Forum, Barcelona and Netherlands Media Arts Institute, Amsterdam. His work has been included in several group exhibitions, such as Illuminations at the 54th Venice Biennale and Speaking Memory, Stroom, Den Haag (2011) and Talking Heads, The Irish Museum of Contemporary Art (IMOCA), Dublin (2010), as well as in Manifesta 7, Trento and The Whitney Biennial, New York in 2008. He was commissioned to make a project for Performa 09, New York (2009): Talk Show, and is currently working on his first feature film.--------
This exhibition is produced by Hordaland Art Centre with the support of the City of Bergen.
Nostalgia was commissioned by the South London Gallery, the Berkeley Art Museum and the Friends of the National Galerie in Berlin.
ABOUT THE 35-YEAR PROGRAMME AT HORDALAND ART CENTRE
2011 marks the 35th year of the Hordaland Art Centre, and we are creating a programme exploring ideas of histories and futures based on different thematics and institutional frameworks.
Do we need to re-lecture the past? How do we prepare for the future? These are two immanent questions to ask in the present. Is it possible to act as if the present is suspended above both history and future? Or is it lurking below both? Maybe is it weighed down by history at the same time as it is longing and striving for the future? These and other related questions will be asked in this one year programme containing six exhibitions, several lectures and seminars, as well as text production and publications.
This anniversary programme intentionally avoids the institution’s self-mythologising approach, but rather focuses on the idea of history and future as the present’s support structure. Nostalgia and hope are two component of how we long for what has been and what is to come, and can act as poetic notions to understand the present.