Biography of Omer Fast
Hard-hitting Israeli-born artist, Omer Fast, produces contemporary tales of alienation and loss often through the distorted conventions of cinema and television. Frequently examining the image as a credible means to disseminate information, Fast weaves personal stories with media narratives. Controversial and politically incisive, his films generate confusion by merging fantasy and reality, and by blurring the boundaries between documentary and dramatization.
Omer Fast’s approach is exemplified by the 2012 video, Continuity. In the film, German parents seek to create the return of their son, a German solider, from combat in Afghanistan. As the narrative is looped, and different actors play their returning son, it is revealed that their son is dead and they are seeking to fill their sense of loss. Of course, it may also be the case that they never had a son in the first place—everything is left inconclusive and unsettling. The hired actors (prostitutes) playing the role of the soldier son, draw attention to the bodily young flesh sent to fight in the Middle East. War is a recurring theme in his work.
Born in Jerusalem in 1972, Fast spent his teenage years in Jericho in New York. He studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 1995 and majored in English and painting. After getting a job doing magazine layouts, he married the German designer Anuschka Hoevener and together they moved to Berlin were they still reside.
Omer Fast has won numerous awards over his lifetime, including in 2009 the prestigious Preis der Nationalgalerie für Junge Kunst, and the 2008 Bucksbaum Award from the Whitney Museum of American Art. Omer Fast’s work is featured in the collections of the Hamburger Bahnhof in Germany, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum both in New York. He has had numerous solo exhibitions, most notably at Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin in 2016, Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in 2010, the Museum of Modern Art in Vienna in 2007, and in 2004 he exhibited at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. His work was featured in the 54th Venice Biennale, documenta 13 and in two Whitney Biennials.