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Keren Cytter, Dreamtalk

Thierry Goldberg Projects
5 Rivington Street, 212-967-2260
East Village / Lower East Side
May 17 - June 24, 2007
Reception: Thursday, May 17, 6 - 9 PM
Web Site

THIERRY GOLDBERG PROJECTS is pleased to present DREAMTALK, the first New York exhibition of the celebrated artist, filmmaker and author, Keren Cytter. The show will include two of Cytter’s groundbreaking videos, Atmosphere and Dreamtalk.

Full of contradictions, Atmosphere and Dreamtalk are elusive as they are blunt. Dreamtalk presents an ironic love triangle involving a couple and their male friend. The friend desires the girl but she is loyal to her boyfriend, and he is seemingly obsessed with Sandra, a character on a TV reality-show. Atmosphere is also about a love triangle, centering on two women who live together and appear to be involved with the same man. The characters position against each other, competing. Parroting the reality TV show in Dreamtalk, the remaining couple asks themselves in the last moments, “Who is the looser, who is the winner?” So, what is happiness, what is resolution, and what is emotion? Keren Cytter’s work raises all these questions presenting the viewer with a situation of a constant present where memory is being claimed in the midst of an unknown future.

Part auteur part amateur, Cytter pays homage to French New-Wave Cinema, Dogme films, and reality TV with a rough immediacy and poetic lingering. All else seeming secondary, the script is always at the core of her working process. The two pieces are filled with dialogue, but how much of it actually registers between the characters is another matter. The poly-vocal narration heightens the sense of detachment with each character carrying on his/her own internal dialogue, depicting a great disconnect between each other. This sense of vacancy, her intentional use of bad acting and single takes make for a brutally honest and wry portrait of romance, however banal. Talking about her work Cytter says: “When the script is finished, everything’s supposed to be clear . . . When I’m on the set, I’m like a bookkeeper; I [strictly] follow the script and try to follow what I was thinking about when I wrote it.” In her clarity and precision, she offers an unflinching focus on the dynamics of relationships, what thoughts are hidden and which are expressed.

While constantly voicing thought, Cytter’s videos are self-aware and self-referential. She pushes this awareness out to the edges of the script where the characters have a sense of their own acting. In Atmosphere, Julia asks: “What happened? I couldn’t hear what you said” and Gayatri responds: “I think, I don’t know… I think it was my voice getting over from another scene . . .” This shifting-in and shifting-out of character coupled with the detached way the actors read the lines off the script transcends a notion of a very porous boundary between reality and illusion.

Keren Cytter was born in Israel in 1977, she currently lives and works in Berlin. She studied painting at the Avni institute in Tel-Aviv, Israel, and she holds a post-graduate degree from de Ateliers in Amsterdam, Holland. Her work has been exhibited in numerous museums, art-center shows, and several international biennials. She has had solo shows at Kunsthalle Zurich, Switzerland; Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany; and at the Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo, Italy. Her work was also exhibited at The 2007 Moscow Biennial, Moscow, Russia; The Stedelijk Museum, and de Appel in Amsterdam, Holland; as well as at The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland. Cytter’s work will also be included in the forthcoming Lyon Biennial, Lyon, France, and in The Herzliya Biennial, Herzliya, Israel. She will also have a solo show at the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, Austria, at the end of the year.

Keren Cytter was the recipient of the prestigious Baloise Art Prize for her Art Statements presentation at the 2006 edition of Art Basel. Reviews and essays of her work were published in Artforum, Frieze, and Flash Art magazines. She is also a writer herself, having published two novels Yesterday’s Sunset and The Man Who Climbed Up the Stairs of Life and Found Out They Were Cinema Seats.
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