What is a tank? Omer Fast's video installation A Tank Translated provides no definitive answer. At first glance, the rapidly metamorphosing word in the subtitles appear to the result of eye fatigue. After a longer look, one suspects the work of a hesitant translator, hoping to hear an innocent narrative in the stories told by four young men - Israelis who spent three years of military service together in a tank, both training and fighting. In Fast's hands, the documentary film genre begins to stutter. As the commander, gunner, loader and driver speak, the artist becomes a visible, if not annoying, presence who twists their testimonies into banal tales of male bravado and into observations that are contradicted in successive layers of translation. As part of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a battle where the weapons are not only tanks but also television crews, Fast's work underscores other forms of translation and displacement that are never questioned: from Hebrew to Arabic, from the occupied territories to television sets around the world, from inside the tank to the front of the camera from politics to the art world. (Jennifer Allen) Omer Fast (Jerusalem, 1972) uses his films to explore the various possibilities offered by the cinematic medium. The borders of the documentary film genre begin to melt when Omer Fast links and manipulates the collective imagery and the individual unconscious on the same layer of his medium.

Omer Fast
USA, Germany