“In the past,” says Omer Fast, “I’ve searched for documentary subjects with controversial histories: individuals with firsthand experience of inauthentic or staged events. Their stories were then complicated through various editing and installation strategies. Recently, I’ve tried to strip down the process, to create beautiful things that speak about the human condition more simply.”
At Manifesta 7 Fast presents a film derived from conversations with morticians. As those responsible for a deceased person’s last public appearance, morticians work somewhere between makeup artistry, plastic surgery, sculpture, deception, PR and magic. Their profession is also emblematic of the modern segregation of work, the worker, and how the resulting product is subsequently displayed and consumed. With his own work, Fast asks what is gained or lost in the process of displacing a body from the professional’s gaze to public view, from the work area to the stage, from being just dead to being the life of the party.
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