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Keren Cytter

Keren Cytter video still

New York–based multidisciplinary artist Keren Cytter plays with the conventions of narrative cinema to reveal or upend their unwritten rules. Her pared-down style of filmmaking utilizes the barest of resources to create the atmosphere of film noir, horror movies, or soap operas and revel in their familiar storylines—the twists and turns of love, sex, jealousy, murder, and revenge. And yet, even as Cytter’s characters enact intense moments, the actors are often emotionally detached from the drama or are even playing multiple roles; scenes repeat themselves in no particular order.

[[music from film]]

  • There is no decision in my movies.
  • They are just following the most basic structures of drama.

    [[audio from film]]

    Female: Open the window, we need to fake it good.

    Male: You look weird.

    Female: What do you mean?

    Male: You look sad.

    [[end of audio from artwork]]

    • Then what is focused on is the way we perceive reality.
    • We–I–perceive reality.

I’m sure you perceive it differently.


The rest is just external.

or what is the story.

[[audio from film]]

Your eyes are now free from your mind.

[[end of audio]]

I try to use the words like music.

[[audio from film]]

Female: Now shut up, don’t look where my hand is.

Male: Now here I confess, when she entered the room, now entered to fall.

Female: 1, 2, 3, 4

Male: Her moves were like dancing, and her words seemed like singing.

[[end of audio]]

that will sound like the most undisturbing ones.

I think I’m less an artist and more a language artist.

[[audio from film]]

Male 1: I can manage people well, I like to produce, and I love dancing.

I mean come on, give me a chance.

Male 2: I will, I will give you a chance.

[[end of audio]]

even if they don’t get the story the minute

and also maybe feel familiar with it and feel at home.

because there is a sense of this story.

[[music from film]]