Presented for the first time at the IMA since its acquisition in 2008, Omer Fast's landmark work, The Casting, is a fourteen-minute, four-channel video installation. Fast edited the video from conversations he recorded in Texas in 2006 with a young U.S. Army sergeant preparing to depart for his second tour in Iraq. The sergeant recounts two stories, which Fast splices and interweaves, blending the narrator's recollections of a date with a German woman while stationed in Bavaria, and the accidental shooting of a civilian in Iraq. The multi-layered account alternates between the two stories, with brief interruptions by a third narrative element of a film director asking questions of an actor at a casting. From one side of the room, the two screens display the sergeant speaking to Fast in the original interview, while from the opposite side the screens silently depict actors performing the same script.
Image credit: Nicholas Trikonis, production still from The Casting, 2007. Image courtesy Postmasters Gallery, New York.