Written in seven chapters and seven styles, this book constitutes the first novel by the Israeli artist and filmmaker Keren Cytter. Both the grotesque and the absurd become tools to narrate the progression of her main character's life, artist Jeff Steinberg. With the recurring motif of scrambled reels, the story also functions as a reflection on the medium of film.
Keren Cytter (born 1977 in Tel Aviv, lives and works in Amsterdam and Berlin) is an Israeli visual artist and filmaker.
Her topics often include love stories, violence, sex and murder. She applies a non-linear narrative, the stories often shot with a hand-held camera. The actors—amateurs and friends of the artist, but more recently professional actors—switch roles with each other, or read their stage directions out loud. Scenes are repeated, but with a different course of events, with voiceovers or alternative dialogues. The films are usually set in simply-furnished apartments, especially the kitchen regions, suggesting a connection to kitchen sink realism. The literary tone of the dialogue, however, is far from realistic. “Instead the films are deliberate hybrids between seemingly incompatible genres, between home videos and auteur films in the spirit of the French nouvelle vague, between Dogme and docu-soap or sitcom. But her films are above all existential dramas about the human condition, about love and hate in our thoroughly medialised age" (Magnus af Petersens).
Keren Cytter has rapidly established herself internationally as one of the most interesting and unique artists on the contemporary art scene. At the mere age of 33, in the last years she has produced more than 50 video works, written three novels and an opera libretto, started the dance and theatre company D.I.E.
Now, won awards and is the darling of the art press. Her critically acclaimed film
works and drawings have been exhibited in leading institutions throughout Europe and
North America, including the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), the Museum Moderner
Kunst Stiftung Ludwig (Vienna), KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin), the Museum
of Modern Art (Dublin), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York). She has
also participated in prestigious international exhibitions such as the 9e Biennale de Lyon
Manifesta 7 (Trento), the Yokohama Triennale of 2008, and the Venice Biennale 2009.
See also Keren Cytter & Antonio Grulli
; Keren Cytter & Nora Schultz
; Poetic Series
(edited by Keren Cytter).