Artist: Keren Cytter
Curated by Bart van der Heide
Friday 30 November 2007 to Sunday 6 January 2008
Private View: Friday 30 November 2007, 18:30PM to 20:30PM
Cubitt is proud to host SOMETHING HAPPENED, the first solo show in London of Israeli filmmaker, author and visual artist Keren Cytter (Tel Aviv, 1977).
Cytter’s work reflects a talent for exposing the cultural choreography behind domestic trivia. Her work has been shown in renowned art spaces such as Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam (2004), Frankfurter Kunstverein (2005), MUMOK, Vienna (2007) and the Biennial of Lyon (2007). Her Cubitt show features a recent movie SOMETHING HAPPENED (2007), which is used for the exhibition as a starting point for a new series of drawings.
Despite covering all corners of visual culture – from writing novels and puzzle books to the production of feature movies – the artistic production of Keren Cytter remains firmly bound to its linguistic point of departure. The majority of her work is script-based but shows an informal diversity in the means of its representation. Both poles – between ‘being form’ (the narrative) and ‘having form’ (its representation) – stay carefully separated and it is their non-compatibility that seems to determine Cytter’s aesthetic playing field.
SOMETHING HAPPENED (2007), for example, is influenced by Natalia Ginzburg’s novel É stato così (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 dramatising the extremities of every day reality. The movie shows a domestic conflict between two lovers, but the main message that is conveyed is of the artificiality of their dialogue. The actors constantly have to repeat their lines and Cytter controls their behavior 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 balances in its depiction between a Hollywood ‘tearjerker’ and a ‘behind the scenes’ documentary. Cytter leads it to a troubling climax.
In the exhibition a wall text denies the possible association between the movie and the extracts of Natalia Ginzburg’s novel that are allegedly used in it, or between the installation and the present selection of drawings. In this way, Cytter de-mystifies the relationships that may occur when objects are placed together within an art context, simultaneously challenging the perception of the viewer as well as the didactic foundations of the exhibition.
SOMETHING HAPPENED is realised with kind support of Arts Council England and Elisabeth Kaufmann Gallery, Zürich.
Supporters of Cubitt’s exhibition programme (October 2007 – March 2009) include: Outset Contemporary Art Fund, 176/Zabludowicz Collection and others.
Keren Cytter, SOMETHING HAPPENED, 2007.