Book Launch at the Café, 6 – 8 pm
Keren Cytter Does Not Like to Share by Mathilde Supe
The Ludwig Forum is pleased to invite you to the book launch of Keren Cytter Does Not Like to Share with the author, Mathilde Supe, and the artist, Keren Cytter. The publication was released in 2022 on the occasion of the exhibition Keren Cytter. Bad Words (June 25 – September 25, 2022) at the Ludwig Forum. The exhibition presented for the first time comprehensively the diverse fields of work and interest of Keren Cytter.
While studying at the Fine Arts School in Paris in 2013 and having to validate an internship abroad, 24-year-old Mathilde Supe contacted Keren Cytter to be her assistant. The latter, who had just left Berlin for New York, was working in a big production of the video series Vengeance (2012/13) and accepted the offer. Supe embarked on a journey to New York City, where she had never set foot, barely speaking English, without a permit, and without contacts, to assist Keren Cytter with her production. From this incredible adventure, she transcribed every detail of hard-ship and learning in a book that took the form of a logbook and followed the evolution of a young artist’s view of another established artist.
Keren Cytter Does Not Like to Share by Mathilde Supe is published by Sternberg Press and will be available at a special offer of € 18 (regular € 22) in the Museum Shop on the occasion of the book launch.
Keren Cytter Does Not Like to Share
English, 14 × 20.5 cm, 248 pages, 1 color ill., softcover
Screening in the Space (basement), 4 – 8 pm
Vengeance (2012/13) by Keren Cytter, 122 mins. looped
In her work Vengeance the Israeli artist, who just moved to New York at that time, takes up the US TV-format of the “daily soap” and processes classic themes of drama in personal relationships: love, envy, betrayal, and vengeance. Cytter stages these 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. 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.
Cytter also reflects on the medium of “video” itself, by using the outdated method of rear projection. The change of scene by means of different images projected onto the rear wall of the performers’ space brings together several factors of Cytter’s œuvre. Presenting theatrical moments in a stage-like setting can be regarded as one of the leading elements in the artist’s effort to mix reality and fiction. Sentences displayed on a canvas behind the actors seem like comments on scenes from silent-movies. The nostalgic slowness of the images is accompanied by Steve Kaufmann’s soundtrack. With chopped-off, slightly dis-harmonious piano chords and the driving sound of chimes, the experienced jazz musician creates a feeling of tension. At the same time, improvised melodious saxophone music conjures up the atmosphere of a dimly lit New York bar. By creating references between the fragmented scenes of the videos, Keren Cytter achieves an inner connection and lets the viewer hope for a sequel.