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Omer Fast: "CNN Concatenated" | ART21 "Exclusive"

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Episode #229: Omer Fast discusses "CNN Concatenated" (2002), an 18-minute monologue he composed from CNN footage acquired around September 11, 2001. Fast began assembling simple sentences from broadcasts before the terrorist attacks, but soon realized his piece would need to shift focus once they occurred. "Through that footage, the challenge was to articulate a voice," he says. Omer considers the artwork’s voice, which he describes as "urgent, demanding, aggressive and scared," as his doppelgänger. In response to the time during which it was made, "CNN Concatenated" asks questions like "Where do we go from here? What do we know? How have we changed?"

Omer Fast's multichannel video installations blur the boundaries between documentary, dramatization, and fantasy, frequently generating confusion in viewers. Through repetition and reenactment, multiple takes of given scenes build shades of interpretation as a story is told, retold, and mythologized. Stories of origin, trauma, and desire mutate and amalgamate, forming blended genres that confound expectations and disrupt narrative conventions. Projected singularly into space or unfolding simultaneously on multiple screens, the work resonates with characters who seem to express the elemental complications and disparities of their own identities.

Learn more about the artist at:
http://www.art21.org/artists/omer-fast

CREDITS: Producer: Ian Forster. Consulting Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: David Howe. Editor: Morgan Riles. Camera: Claus Deubel. Sound: Oliver Lumpe. Artwork Courtesy: Omer Fast, Arratia Beer, Dvir Gallery & gb agency.

ART21 "Exclusive" is supported, in part, by 21c Museum Hotel, and by individual contributors.