Keren Cytter makes films that portray characters entangled in complicated relationships, simultaneously connected to and alienated from one another. Inspired by direct experiences and observations of her surroundings as well as the films, plays, and novels of such luminaries as Alfred Hitchcock, John Cassavetes, Roman Polanski, Jack Smith, Tennessee Williams, and Samuel Beckett, her work is carefully scripted and produced while maintaining a sense of spontaneity and unpredictability. While past films have been shot in her apartment with a cast of friends and acquaintances, her earliest works were filmed with professional actors on a stage with a live audience, exploring the notion of identity in relationship to role-playing. Cytter’s nonlinear narratives and use of a hand-held camera create absurdly abstract sequences of highly dramatic interactions and events, infused with both humor and pathos.
Keren Cytter shows the first two episodes of
Vengeance (working title – as yet unfinished), 2012, 7 Episodes à 15:00 min
For Vengeance, a seven-part video narrative epic, Keren Cytter takes her own currently changing life situation as inspiration. Having recently moved to New York, Cytter adopted the US TV- platform of the “daily soap” as a structural format to processes classic themes of drama in personal relationships: love, envy, betrayal, and vengeance. Cytter’s characters perform exaggerated scenes of soap genre clichés, such as cheating on partners, and professions of love. Unlike her older series of video works and their intimate settings, the scenes in Vengeance were filmed at 15 different places around Staten Island and New Jersey, including restaurants, hotels, parks, apartments, and streets. A total of 50 actors, most of them professionals, fulfill their social functions with blank faces. They provide a projection space for the beliefs and stereotypes of each viewer.
Keren Cytter (b. 1977 in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel) lives currently in New York City and is one of the most innovative and multifaceted video artists of our time. Keren Cytter has made more than sixty videos; her oeuvre also includes drawings and photographs. She has written novels, a libretto, plays and performances. In 2010 she founded the dance group Dance International Europe Now (D.I.E. Now). From 1997 to 1999 Cytter studied at the Avni Institute in Tel Aviv. She worked at the renowned Institution de Ateliers in Amsterdam from 2002 to 2004. In 2006 the artist received the Balôise Art Prize at Art Basel and the Ars Viva Prize from the Kulturkreis der deutschen Wirtschaft in Berlin in 2008. Recent solo exhibitions: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2015); Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2014); State of Concept, Athens (2014); Tate Modern Oil Tanks, London (2012); Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2011); Kunstverein München, Munich (2011); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2010); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2010).