Noga Gallery is pleased to announce our third solo show with the internationally renowned artist Keren Cytter (*1977). In her exhibition Video Art Manual, Cytter presents her latest films: a premiere of three episodes from a multi-part series titled Vengeance (2012), and a film titled Video Art Manual (2011)
The exhibition’s title is taken from one of Cytter’s works Video Art Manual. In the film Cytter offers a historical analysis of video art and its development the last forty years, focusing on the conditions of how contemporary video art is produced, installed and consumed. The 15-minute work is a sardonic — and perceptive — take on video art and film, as well as their tropes, the same conventions the artist winkingly uses in her own films.
In the 3 episodes of the work in progress film titled Vengeance, Keren Cytter, who recently moved to New York, comes to terms with her own currently changing life situation. In particular, she takes up the US TV-format of the “daily soap” and processes classic themes of drama in personal relationships: love, envy, betrayal, and vengeance.
In contrast to older Cytter works such as The Date Series (2004), these new video episodes are less existential in nature and seem almost comical. What is also new about the exhibited films is their elaborate production. While previous works were often characterized by an intimate interior, Cytter stages these new episodes in the rich settings of Staten Island and New Jersey. The scenes were filmed at 15 different places, including restaurants, hotels, parks, apartments, and streets. A total of 50 actors, most of them professionals, fulfill their social functions with blank faces. They provide a projection space for the beliefs and stereotypes of each viewer.
Cytter takes up the concept of “friendenemies”, which has become popular in American soaps: two women, previously friends, get caught up in a perfidious contest in their daily office life, turning them into bitter rivals. In this conflict, both women are like puppets; driven only by the pressure of competition and the obsession with perfection. Not only the characters seem interchangeable, the story also stays intentionally superficial to grant the viewer a low-threshold access into the events. As opposed to previous Cytter films, the trivial dialogs of the series are not supplied with subtitles. The artist reviews impressions and clichés of the US American society, which have become part of our collective memory – not least by daily soaps such as Dallas or The Denver Clan. Cytter examines cut and dried patterns deeply rooted in pop-cultural visual memory and analyzes the influence of mass media on behavior patterns and prejudices in contemporary society.
The text about Vengeance was written by Natalie Keppler (translated from German)
Keren Cytter was born in Tel Aviv in 1977. She studied at The Avni Institute in Tel Aviv and received her degree from de Ateliers in Amsterdam. Cytter’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Moderna Museet, Stockholm;Tate Modern, London; Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin and Kunsthalle Zürich. Her work was included in the 53rd Venice Biennial; Found in Translation, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; 8th Gwangju Biennale; Manifesta 7, Trentino; and Talking Pictures and K21 Kunstammlung Nordhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf. Cytter currently lives and works in New York.