Keren Cytter (IS)


Keren Cytter’s work explores human relationships and behaviour, and the dramatic conventions used to express them on stage and screen with movement, language, film, video and lighting. Inspired by the artist’s own life and that of her friends, Cytter’s work presents love, desire, loss and the vagaries of human communication, all the while scrambling the standard codes, narratives and imagery used to depict these themes. As well as films, Cytter makes performances, dance productions and drawings.

Something Happened (2007)

video, sound, 7’52”

Something Happened (2007) is influenced by Natalia Ginzburg's novel È stato così (The Dry Heart, 1947) but takes up neither the plain literary style of the book nor follows the plot accurately. Instead, Cytter's film gives way to an almost pathetic plea for empathy, comparable to the current interest within popular culture in dramatizing the extremes of everyday reality. The video shows a domestic conflict between two lovers, but the main message it conveys is of the artificiality of their dialogue. The actors constantly have to repeat their lines and Cytter controls their behaviour by being highly selective with the lines that are transmitted to the viewer and with those that remain obscure. Through a playful use of timing, editing and camera angles the narrative hovers in its depiction between a Hollywood tearjerker and a fly-on-the-wall documentary. Cytter leads it to a troubling climax.

Corrections (2013) 

video, sound, 10’

The film Corrections tells the story of a man ridden with guilt for ruining his parents’ life. He compares his life to that of a cockroach. While trying to remember what happened in the past, he discovers the real reason for his guilt. The film is created by repetitive camera movements and the actions of the actors. Keren Cytter uses traditional film components such as actors, casting, voice and text in a most unusual way. Through her methodical and effective use of deconstruction, she calls into question our blind dependence on the prevailing narrative structures. 

Produced by Contour 2013 as part of the cooperation project with the biennials of Göteborg, Liverpool and Ljubljana (within the framework of the European Culture Programme 2007-2013).