IWM Contemporary: Omer Fast, London

Omer Fast’s 5000 Feet is the Best will screen at IWM Contemporary, IWM London, this summer. As part of the dedicated summer programme, also featuring Mike Moore and Lee Craker, the London Premiere of Fast’s film offers a challenging investigation of the nature of modern day conflict. Running 29 July until 29 September, 5000 Feet is the Best is so named due to the optimum operational flight altitude of a US Air Force Predator drone. Focused upon a collection of interviews conducted in a Las Vegas hotel room, with a former drone operator, the artist constructs a 30 minute piece considering drone warfare.

Opening the film with the dialogue with the drone operator, the individual recalls his combat experiences of flying over Afghanistan and Pakistan. Primarily speaking off-camera, the drone operator discusses the psychological impact of engaging with an enemy from thousands of miles away. The film jumps between documentary interview footage and fictionalized re-enactments. Consequently the reality Fast dictates is multifaceted and unstable. Mixing surreal shots of suburban Nevada, 5000 Feet is the Best is a subtle investigation of how the use of drones is rapidly changing the politics, principles and personal experience of contemporary conflict.

Born in 1972 in Jerusalem, the artist’s critical and imaginative perspective on the nature of modern warfare blends the lines between fiction, reality, memory and truth. Demonstrating how combat is the part of the everyday, his piece explores the ethical layers of one of the most controversial subjects.

Omer Fast: 5000 Feet is the Best, 29 July – 29 September, IWM Contemporary, IWM London, IWM London, Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ.

1. Omer Fast, 5000 Feet is the Best / 2011 / Digital Film Still / Courtesy of the artist.