Keren Cytter. Hot Lava Night

A drawing showing two cats, the tail of another cat and some star shapes. Cats and stars look as if they were floating around each other in the air. The colors are contrasting with blue, yellow, red, orange and purple to pink.
Keren Cytter, Cat Dream, 2023, Copyright: Keren Cytter

Keren Cytter (*1977 in Tel Aviv) tells stories – absurd, funny and mostly abysmal. Through experimental forms of narrative and perception, Cytter’s work explores social alienation, meaning and representation of language, and the function of the individual in cultural systems. She is primarily a filmmaker, but her work also includes performances, plays, sculptures, drawings, novels, children’s books, and interdisciplinary festivals. With the often cyclical logic of her works, Cytter deconstructs classical narrative patterns as well as conventional language conventions and interpretive sovereignties. Her montages of memories, dream images, and conceits, reminiscent of amateur videos, create multilayered, poetic compositions of a mostly irritatingly grotesque quality.

The exhibition presents over twenty drawings and two new video works by the artist, which are being shown for the first time at the Kunsthalle Bielefeld. These include the eponymous short film “Hot Lava Night”.
Radio reports depict the extent of a fictitious catastrophic flood that leads to a global crisis of unimagined proportions. While showing people’s capacity for compassion and unity, the film depicts the blossoming of a young romance that begins in New York and ends at a coastal refuge. A place where there are no signs of devastation and the boundaries between fiction and reality are blurred.

In her approximately 90-minute film “White Elephant”, Cytter follows the relationships between a woman and a drone, a sex addict, a confused actor and a neighbor mourning her dead father. The protagonists are connected to each other through various contexts and constellations. Cytter stages a complex web of interpersonal relationships between loss, love, grief, values, dependencies and longings.

The artist’s drawings also revolve around social alienation, the function and representation of language and the significance of the individual in society. In addition to her own works on paper, the Kunsthalle Bielefeld is showing Cytter’s artistically designed script excerpts and storyboards for her films as well as drawings that appear in “White Elephant”.

The film “White Elephant” will be shown every Wednesday at 7 pm during the exhibition period (except on January 24 and February 28, 2024) and on Saturdays and Sundays at 4 pm (except on January 13 and February 17, 2024).

About Keren Cytter

Keren Cytter studied Fine Arts at the Avni Institute of Art and Design, Tel Aviv, and was a fellow at De Ateliers, Amsterdam, from 2002-2004. Her work has been shown in solo exhibitions in internationally renowned institutions.