Omer Fast : APPENDIX

Omer Fast : APPENDIX

STUK — House for Dance, Image & Sound

Omer Fast, August, 2016. Film, 15 minutes. © Julia M. Müller / Filmgalerie Berlin.  Courtesy GB Agency / James Cohan / Arratia Beer / DVIR Galleries.

October 8, 2017
Omer Fast
October 11–December 13, 2017
STUK — House for Dance, Image & Sound
Naamsestraat 96
3000 Leuven
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Curator: Karen Verschooren, STUK

“The appendix is a strange organ. No discernible purpose or use. Living off the system. Just like a parasite. Don’t you agree? For the most part, it’s harmless. But as you know, it can occasionally inflame and endanger the whole organism. In a perfect society, we’d cut them all out before they can act up. Progress through science. That’s what my superiors say. At least publicly… Imbeciles… ”
–quote from August 2016

STUK is delighted to present APPENDIX, the first solo exhibition in Belgium of Omer Fast (*1972), one of the most intriguing voices in the landscape bridging film and visual arts.

The exhibition focuses on Fast’s 3D film August (2016). Based on the life and work of German photographer August Sander (1876–1964) the film shows Sander at the end of his life, nearly blind and unable to sleep. As he roams his house late at night, figures from the past briefly appear, mostly frozen and ghostlike. At times friendly and at times taunting, the figures eventually drive the artist into the night, where he seeks refuge in nature. This poetic film sketches a touching and almost tangible portrait of this famous photographer, on the border between fiction and documentary.

August is preceded by Looking Pretty for God (After G.W.) (2008) in which North American funeral directors speak about their work. Conceived as a dry documentary, the film mostly sticks to its subject, but sometimes veers into surreal scenes involving children on a fashion shoot. As the young visitors calmly pose among the coffins, they inexplicably channel the voices of the funeral directors. A surprising but profound link is thus made between two very different worlds both dealing with the creation of images, their artificiality and resonance.

In STUK, Looking Pretty for God (After G.W.) is presented in an elaborate installation / scenography of a two-bedroom family apartment specially created for the exhibition. The small apartment is in the process of being dissolved and packed away, its former residents are missing. Upon close inspection, little clues allude to problems, a crisis, perhaps a catastrophe. Disappearance as a theatrical act, death as a social ritual, and memory as a collective performance are the central themes in APPENDIX.

The exhibition APPENDIX is part of a series of solo exhibitions in STUK by contemporary visual artists who have a particular affinity for the moving image and spatial video installations. Previous exhibitions in this series include Joachim Koester: Maybe this act, this work, this thing; Emre Hüner: Neochronophobiq; John Akomfrah: Auto Da Fé; and Bjørn Melhus: The Theory of Freedom.

Omer Fast​
(*1972, Israel)

Omer Fast is one of the most distinctive film and video artists of his generation. In his filmic work, he often defines a new relationship between fact and fiction, exploring the construction of narratives and the way these stories change when told from different perspectives. He borrows from traditions of documentary, dramatization and fantasy to tell stories of trauma, war and relationships.

Omer Fast’s work has been shown worldwide with solo presentations in a.o. Martin Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2017), Kunsten Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg (2016), Jeu de Paume, Paris (2016) and Taro Nasu Gallery, Tokyo (2015), and inclusions in recent group shows in MAXXI, Rome (2017), Modern and Contemporary Art Portland Museum, Portland (2017), Casino Luxembourg Forum d’art contemporain, Luxembourg (2017), Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt (2017), Hartware Medien Kunst Verein, Dortmund (2016) and Fondazione Prada, Milano (2016). His work is included in the permanent collections of numerous institutions, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of American Art in New York; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Tate Modern, London; and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

Omer Fast holds an MFA from Hunter College in New York City (2000) and a BFA from Tufts University and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1995). He lives and works in Berlin, and is represented by DVIR gallery, GB Agency, James Cohan Gallery and Arratia Beer Gallery.

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STUK — House for Dance, Image & Sound
October 8, 2017

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