Netherlands Media Art Institute presents Omer Fast

Netherlands Media Art Institute

May 12, 2011

Omer Fast

14 May–23 July 2011

13 May 2011, at 6:00 p.m.

Conversation between Omer Fast and Sven Lütticken on
Sunday, 15 May, at 3:00 p.m.
Streamed live on

The Netherlands Media Art Institute proudly presents the first solo exhibition by Omer Fast in The Netherlands. The show is comprised of three video installations, which have not been exhibited in the Netherlands before. These are the three-part work Nostalgia (2009), with which Fast won the Preis der Nationalgalerie fur Junge Kunst in Berlin, the 4-channel work The Casting (2007), that won him the Whitney Museum’s Bucksbaum Award in 2008, and De Grote Boodschap (2007), produced for the Contour video biënnale in Mechelen. In the show Fast demonstrates his fascination with narrative and cinematic constructions, and different forms of documentary and re-enactment.

Omer Fast writes his own scripts and directs and edits his own films. Working with film, video and television material, he looks at how individual and collective histories interact with each other in narrative. The interview functions as a very important form for this, both in terms of construction and as a starting point. Fast repeatedly works with witnesses and their testimony. Because in their accounts individuals ‘re-enact’ what happened to them, they experience and interpret the events anew. It is precisely at those moments that memory is processed again. Thus Fast is not responding directly to reality, but working with representations and narratives. There is a truth in the telling of personal stories which interests the artist, but he often plays with it to create ambiguous or self-critical works. In this manner, video and film can not be simply considered as an open ‘factual medium’, but generate space for reflection.

Nostalgia (2009), with which Fast won the 2009 Preis der Nationalgalerie fur Junge Kunst in Berlin, is comprised of three imposing parts that are presented in three separate exhibition spaces. Fast based the work on an interview with a West African refugee who applied for asylum in London. Nostalgia I presents an extract from the original interview. The second film, presented on two screens, shows a scripted reenactment of the interview performed by two actors. In Nostalgia III Omer Fast transforms the story into science fiction with a deliberate retro feel.

In the four channel video installation The Casting (2007), for which he received the Whitney Museum’s Bucksbaum Award in 2008, the point of departure is a conversation between the artist and a young sergeant in the American army. In The Casting Fast literally cuts the two stories that the sergeant told into pieces and interweaves them with each other. The original interview footage between Fast and the sergeant appears on one pair of screens, while on another pair actors silently portray the events described in the sergeant’s story.

Omer Fast recorded the third work, De Grote Boodschap (2007), in the Belgian city Mechelen. The Flemish characters here seem to be stuck fast in time, as the camera moves horizontally through the walls of a number of apartments which appear to adjoin one another.

Omer Fast’s recent solo exhibitions include the Whitney Museum of American Art, the South London Gallery, Kunstverein Hannover and the Berkeley Art Museum.

As part of the exhibition a series of lectures will take place at NIMk in May and June for which speakers from different disciplines will discuss the work of Omer Fast. For more information please go to

Netherlands Media Art Institute
Keizersgracht 264
1016 EV Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Opening hours exhibition
Tuesday–Friday from 11 am–6 pm, Saturday and 1st Sunday of the month from 1–6 pm