Raffaella Cortese is proud to present the first solo exhibition in an Italian art gallery of Israeli artist Keren Cytter (b. 1977). Cytter has been critically and popularly acclaimed for her innovative way of narrating conflictual relationships. The artist breaks down the conventions of cinematic language by using tragicomical overtones and multiple story lines that constantly manage to surprise the spectator with an existentialist, dream-like representation of daily life. A hypsterish theatre de l'absurd, Cytter's videos are at once reminiscent of Ionesco' plays and Caravaggio's naturalism, vacillating between Wes Andersonian juvenilia and Gus Van Sant's solemn explicitness. An artist as well as a writer, Cytter has published three novels and three theater plays. She showed at Gemec, Bergamo, in Manifesta 7 in 2008 and in the 53rd Biennale di Venezia in 2009.
Cytter's Avalanche is an installation of four videos respectively titled "Ducks and Women", "Francophile", "Lonely Planet" and "Chain Review". The artist sets up an interactive as well as physical experience for the viewer to move through, who is also called upon to make sense of the surreality of the narration. As in other works, the artist/auteur wallows in the world of literature and poetry as means to deal with trauma and with mounting mental intricacies. The videos are set in London and Berlin, with bits of spoken conversation in English, French and in German. The plots are linked to one another by returning characters and recurring visual cues.
Konstruktion came out of Cytter's own experience at Mai Thai University, a degree-conferring, "innovative school of poetry" based in Berlin. A 48 hour poetry reading is taking place amongst the degree candidates in a filthy bar setting. The participants seem to share an understanding of daily life as an extension of poetry in which heavy drinking with bohemian lifestyle. A sophisticatedly structured, gaze-deflecting, fast-pace sequence Konstruktion is able to reconcile poetic text with spoken bits of converations, erratic actions and crashing human affects.
Keren Cytters work has been presented in group and solo exhibitions in museums and galleries in Europe and the United States, including the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; New Museum, New York and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. In 2006 she was awarded the Baloise Art Prize at Art Basel. Cytter lives and works between Berlin and New York.