September 28, 2007

Omer Fast, Godville at Indianapolis Museum of Art

Contemporary Art Exhibition > Art Video > Omer Fast > Godville

Omer Fast, Godville

Indianapolis Museum of Art

September 28, 2007 - March 2, 2008

Godville was on view in the Mark and Carmen Holeman Video Gallery at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. It was the Midwest premiere and first United States museum exhibition of Godville by Israeli-born, Berlin-based artist Omer Fast.

Omer Fast creates video installations that explore the connection between media, culture and collective constructions of history. This two-channel video installation depicts three actors who inhabit Colonial Williamsburg, a restored eighteenth-century town in Virginia, also known as a “living-history museum.” For Godville (2004), he interviewed period actors from Colonial Williamsburg both in historic character and in their modern-day actual personas. These interviews are shown with a video of Colonial Wililamsburg landscape scenes.

Omer Fast, is looking forward to displaying his work in Indiana, which he refers to as “America’s heartland.” Regarding his exhibition at IMA the artist said, “I’m simply happy to have as wide an American audience for this work as possible. Since the work is dealing with the American narrative, both in terms of collective history, the desire for personal reinvention and a touch of the crazy vernacular, I think it is particularly accessible to American audiences: East, West and Center.”

The artwork includes two video projections, drawn from footage the artist gathered on site in Virginia. Through a vigorous editing process, interviews with historic interpreters conducted in and out of character are spliced together. By cutting and remixing the interviews, Fast combines the current personal stories and acted historical interpretations delivered by each speaker. The new narratives tell the story of people who are floating in America somewhere between past and present, fiction and real life. 

“The video presents a certain ambiguity existing around nostalgia or identity,” said assistant curator Rebecca Uchill. “The confrontation of past and present in this video can be surprising, even funny, but it also gives a more interrogative version of history as well as a fantastical view of truth.”

Omer Fast’s work was previously seen in the United States in the exhibition “Closed Circuit: New Media Acquisitions” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.  The artist has also previously exhibited in solo or dual exhibitions at venues including the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; International Institute for Visual Arts, London; Midway Contemporary, Minneapolis; and the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich. Fast has received numerous awards including a 2003 prize from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation and the 2003 annual Ars Viva award from the Kulturkreis der Deutschen Wirtschaft. Following his exhibition at the IMA, Omer Fast was featured at the Museum of Modern Art in Vienna in a major mid-career retrospective, opening on October 6, 2007.


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