We are pleased to be holding France’s first solo show of the work of Keren Cytter, an artist who came to notice this summer at the Venice Biennale, and in 2007 at the Lyon Biennale. Of Israeli origin, Keren Cytter lives and works in Berlin, where she is developing work based essentially on video, mixing styles and genres to involve us, by way of short narratives, in the often tragic fate of different people mired in the violence of their relationships.
Somewhere between cinema-vérité and sitcom, home movie and reality TV, filmed performance and auteur film, Keren Cytter offers us a succession of scenes where reality seems to be constantly at loggerheads with fiction.
From the angle of this conflict—a conflict which thus represents others—everything is fair game, and each one of the parameters inherent to the execution of these works—from scenario and script to editing, by way of the filming itself and the actors’ performances—is entirely devised and introduced in a logic of tension, matched only by the heightening of the feelings at issue.
The cinematic structure of these works and the surprising interplays of repetition, collage and loop, and the shot itself (where, clutching her camera, the artist seems to grasp reality as if miraculously), all engage viewers at the hub of a maelstrom and confusion of feelings in which, precisely like the different protagonists, they become lost, and will have trouble emerging unscathed.
Violence and passion, the title of one of Visconti’s last films, might very well be Keren Cytter’s password , for the artist also adds more and more references and borrowings from film-makers she admires, who have depicted the torments and perils of the soul before her. So, in addition to the Italian master, there are regular nods at John Cassavetes, Roman Polanski and Pier Paolo Pasolini.
In many respects, given the unbridled mixture of daily life, memories and dream images, in this bond so subtly woven between reality and its depiction, Keren Cytter’s films can equally as well seem like so many parts of a fantasized autobiography.
For her show at Le Plateau, Keren Cytter juggles with the architecture of the place like a logical extension of what the structure of her films represents: loop and repetition effects are combined with duplications of spaces and artificial symmetries. Once again, what is involved is—particularly by increasing the number of decoys—engaging the visitor-viewer in a labyrinthine form with uncertain ways out.
In particular, some drawings linked directly with the videos proposed and devised the better to guide us, act by their arrangement in space like so many factors heightening our confusion.
Among the works being shown for the first time in Paris are Repulsion (2006), Der Spiegel (2007), Les Ruissellements du Diable (2008) and Four Seasons (2009).