Chiara Camoni — The story always comes later
Spazio A, Pistoia
Chiara Camoni spies on the relationship that a work of art maintains with reality. The works in this show also relate what happens before them and what happens after, the creative process, and the story that ensues. Before and after: two areas not usually considered a part of the work – complete as it is in itself – but which seem to emerge continually with irony and apprehension in the art of Chiara Camoni. In the video installation A story we are shown the steps in the creation of a sculpture not featured in the show. The technical steps and craftsmanship are overlapped by the sounds and thoughts of daily life providing a continuous bass line in the background. Things head in the direction of the work of art, but also towards a reflection on existence. The sculptures-whistles clearly express ambiguity, assuming their positions on their stands as all sculptures do while requesting to be taken in hand and played at the same time. Their presence in space is enacted in the moment some person enters into relationship with them, takes the position required by their form, blows air inside, and produces a sound. In the agglomeration Senza Titolo the great abstract mother figure, we see only one of its possible forms. A creature that is both soft and piercing at the same time, it can change continually; studying the pattern of its spirals allows us to follow the narration of one of its many stories. And the story, as we know, always comes later, after the night has come to an end.
Keren Cytter — Selection
Curated by Sandro Droschl
11 06 2016 — 08 09 2016
The Israeli artist and filmmaker Keren Cytter (born 1977 in Tel Aviv; lives in New York City) is currently one of the most innovative and multifaceted video artists of our time. Cytter captures and explores human relationships, particularly the behaviors and interactions performed in everyday life. Working with narrative, she plays with humorous, absurd, and subtle dialogues, which at times mix fictitious situations with real life. In accordance with the complexity of social conditions, her critique is not merely legibly formulated; rather specific themes are developed with sensitivity in elaborately written screenplays, in her work with actors, and in the final editing, while on a structural level, everything is precisely depicted in astonishing diversity. In developing her artistic work she appears to trace the changes in society seismographically, striking a timely nerve in an amazingly condensed, pointed, and exact manner.
For the elaborate solo show Selection at KM– Graz, Cytter presents a selection of videos and other works embedded in the reconstructed exhibition space. In a surprising turn, the artist not only reverses the situation at the entrance of the institution, in the direction of delivering large objects, but she’s also built a mirrored parcours that provides a fresh view of a personal selection of her oeuvre, which has been growing for more than fifteen years; it allows the audience to actively participate, becoming something like one of the actors in her videos. In the videos shown Cytter is partly inspired by John Cassavetes (Untitled) or Pierre Paolo Passolini (Force from the Past; In Search of Brothers). At the same time, she makes use of different genres: the slasher film, film noir, French auteur cinema, and melodrama, as well as news formats and music clips. In doing so, Cytter also references the visual vocabulary of experimental and classic cinema, as well as literature, theater, and pop-culture soap operas or YouTube fragments. She combines elements of documentary and fictional background to create an expressive collection of film motifs. One of the artist’s favorite strategies, however, is to quickly expose these film clichés in bizarre or comical ways.
Even though the pieces do not attempt to tell a specific story, fragments of narrative and plot are generated from time to time. The videos do not illustrate a story, but as a deliberate film entity, they form a panopticon of everyday scenes. In them the artist works on the kinds of images and codes that are consumed today through different devices and cameras. She also supplements the original material with clips from various other sources. The videos enhance their standpoints and views, interweaving at the end to form a subjective standpoint, which, at the same time, allows one to recognize the diversity of her artistic production.
For this show, Cytter has made a new video, “Object, ” filmed in her apartment in New York. In “Object” she radically alters the function of her private space, covering much of it with tarp, and making a swimming pool in the courtyard, which is filled with water and used in wintertime. Using personalized “continents, ” the video investigates constantly changing social relationships and global intrigues, yet it also represents a poetic game with forms of communication and their power relations.