IWM Contemporary: Omer Fast
29 July – 29 September 2013
IWM hosts the London premiere of a film based on a former drone operator's experiences of guiding planes to fire at Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Omer Fast is the first to feature in a brand new programme that will look at how leading artists and photographers respond to contemporary warfare and conflict.
Fast’s film '5000 Feet is the Best' takes its name from the optimum operational flight altitude of a US Air Force Predator and is based on a series of interviews with a former drone operator that were conducted in a Las Vegas hotel room.
The 30-minute film opens with the drone operator recounting his combat experiences of flying over Afghanistan and Pakistan and then continues to switch between documentary interview footage and fictionalised reenactments.
Speaking mostly off-camera, the drone operator details the psychological impact of engaging an enemy that is thousands of miles away, revealing how easily the lines between fiction and reality, truth and memory, combat and everyday life are blurred in modern day conflict.
Jerusalem-born Fast also uses the piece to explore the way drone usage is rapidly changing the politics, principles and personal experience of warfare.
The artist hopes that showing his work as part of IWM Contemporary will bring the film to a broader audience than it might usually enjoy.