Hometown: Tel Aviv
Lives and Works: New York
Keren Cytter was born 1977 in Tel Aviv. She lives and works in New York.
Keren Cytter is a fertile storyteller. She works mainly with video and film and has created more than 65 scripts and films in the last decade. Cytter, whose artistic practice has gained an outstanding international recognition, is also known for her live performances, drawings, and photography.
Keren Cytter uses visual media in innovative ways to build powerful and affecting narratives out of twisted scenes. Cytter’s films, video installations, and drawings represent social realities through experimental modes of storytelling characterized by a non linear, cyclical logic and multiple layers of images: conversation, monologue, and narration systematically composed to undermine linguistic conversation and traditional interpretation schemata. Recalling amateur home movies and video diaries, these montages of impressions, memories, and imagining are poetic and self-referential in composition, thought provoking, and inescapably engrossing.
Keren Cytter’s films portray characters entangled in complicated relationships, simultaneously connected to, and alienated from, one another. She is inspired by direct experiences and observations of her surroundings as well as the films, plays, and novels of luminaries like 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 recent works were filmed with professional actors.
In addition to her video and performance works, Cytter is also a critically acclaimed writer. She has published three novels The Man Who Climbed the Stairs of Life and Found Out They Were Cinema Seats (2005), The Seven Most Exciting Hours of Mr. Trier’s Life in Twenty-Four Chapters (2008), and The Amazing True Story of Moshe Klinberg – A Media Star (2009), as well as poems and excerpts from her diary titled White Diaries (2010). She also wrote the libretto for the chamber opera Le Voisin by Thomas Myrmel.
Dance and Theatre
In 2008 Cytter formed a dance company called D.I.E NOW (Dance International Europe Now) consisting of 5 non-professional dancers. Their first production History in the Making – The True Story of John Webber, which was based on a wide range of influences including Pina Bausch, Samuel Beckett, Disney on Ice, Michael Jackson, Yvonne Rainer, and the 1980s dance-floor filler Lambada, went on an international tour and was presented in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in London, The Kitchen in New York City, Tramway in Glasgow and Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin.
In 2006 Cytter won the Bâloise Prize at Art Basel, Switzerland. In 2008 she received the Ars Viva Prize and was one of the four nominees for the Preis der Nationalgalerie für Junge Kunst, Berlin. In 2009 Cytter became the first recipient of the Absolute Art Award in Stockholm, and in 2010 she was shortlisted for the Future Generation Art Prize.