Omer Fast, Take a Deep Breath, 2008 – production still, two channel HD video, running time: 27:07 minutes. Image via: Postmasters
Among the endless art cliches circulating mainstream media, the one I most frequently subscribe to is this: Art should transcend its form. Very little of it achieves such results, and as Omer Fast’s films at Postmasters demonstrate, even when it does, the outcome may not be perfect. So many threads run through these works it’s nearly impossible to pin them down. Disguise, looking, making, memory, compassion, prejudice, violence—the list goes on—but Fast investigates each with more depth than is immediately apparent.
The films bring up another common issue, which is that privileging conceit over form doesn’t always end well. Probably the best example of this comes from Take a Deep Breath, a purposefully badly acted, two-channel projection in the main exhibition space that explores, among other themes, the importance of artifice. In the case of production, Fast proves it does indeed matter; the canned lines forced a few AFC colleagues out of the film, and to what end? These same points are made within the narrative.
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