NOSTALGIA FOR ART I’VE NEVER SEEN

I recently received the latest issue of Filmmaker magazine and must confess a strange relationship with film magazines in general. Well, I love them and I love Filmmaker in particular (I even named this blog after one of their articles*). I love reading about film, I love interesting discourse and criticism and production anecdotes, but… here’s the catch- I don’t like reading about films I want to see before I’ve seen them, preferring, of course to approach a film primed only by it’s title and a good poster. Mm hm… This becomes tricky when the way you hear about a lot of films is through articles in film magazines.

At any rate, when Filmmaker arrives I tend to read the articles that I feel are ‘safe’ to read all the way through first, which brings me to the topic of this particular post- Omer Fast. A video/installation artist, Fast is featured in Filmmaker’s ‘EIGHT THINGS THAT WILL KEEP YOU IN THE KNOW’ for his recent work, entitled ‘Nostalgia’, and currently on display at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.

According to Filmmaker, ‘Nostalgia’ is a three-part film installation that follows a man’s account of his struggle for asylum in Britain meshed with his story told as a 1970s science fiction movie.

Well, hello Mr.Fast!

I find most straight-up video installation to be fantastically boring, but anything ‘meshed’ with seventies sci-fi piques my interest to say the least. Further investigation** finds a piece by Omer Fast done in 2003 meshing around some more- this time interviews with extras from Schindler’s List and Holocaust history, with the winning title ‘Spielberg’s List’. Now that I gotta see… Or perhaps, like movie reviews, this brief introduction to the work of Omer Fast has me imagining something so fun, so different, so rewarding, so deliciously perverse in his projects that the real thing doesn’t stand a chance!

Only one way to find out… Even further investigation*** dug up this interview with the artist, produced by the Whitney on the occasion of his work ‘The Casting’ (2007) being included in their 2008 Biennial.

Very interesting… although I must say I always find the installation part of video installations to be a bit clumsy**** (like how is the side with the talking heads informed or changed by what’s behind them? On the reverse, you’d get the audio from the interview, but shouldn’t the idea flow both ways? But I digress… and am speaking out of turn, not having experienced the installation myself)

Is it worth a trip to the Whitney for ‘Nostalgia’s’ sake? Heck, I’d be there today if I lived in New York!

In the meantime, I look forward to a future gallery experience where video installation technology has meshed with Avatar!

* see my first post – Committing to Film

** well, not really – it’s mentioned in the same Filmmaker piece, but ‘further investigation’ sounds better, doesn’t it? Definitely less lazy.

*** for real this time

**** major exceptions include videos projected on the floor, which I’m always a sucker for

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