Interview - Keren Cytter

Interview

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London-based filmmaker Keren Cytter talks to Alexander Kennedy about her new work on show at the Edinburgh’s Collective Gallery

Alexander Kennedy Can you tell us what you’ll be showing at the Collective and about the work’s subject matter?

Keren Cytter I’m showing seven videos in one room called ‘The Dates Series’ and three videos in another room with wall text. The subject matter of the works is very different. The topic of ‘The Dates Series’ is ‘Time and narrative, black and white’. The topics of the videos in the other room could be described as: ‘Music, fun, family longing and colour’.

AK Your work, while sometimes dark, can also be quite funny.

KC The humour comes out of embarrassment and the serious parts come out of stress - so I don’t know how much I’m actually controlling these two. I try to give the films a solid sense of structure, but I don’t care so much what this structure is, as long as it’s stable and generally makes sense.

AK It’s been said by one critic that you do not try to ‘impress the viewer with aesthetic considerations’. Is this correct? Isn’t this kind of ‘anti-aesthetic’ a style in its own right?

KC That’s true. I think the person who wrote it was just not impressed! Of course I’m trying to create an aesthetically pleasing image - when I shake the camera I suppose you could say I’m trying to impress by consciously employing a ‘homemade aesthetic’.

AK What other projects are you working on and how have you seen your work develop?

KC I recently finished a feature film and I’m planning to make a short video with fake blood in it and explosions (all in my house). I’m also planning to make two other videos - one will be with naked people and is about the mess that society’s in right now, the other one is for a project in Holland, and will be shown in theatres. I don’t know how my work is developing and I’m not too sure it’s developing in a straight line. It goes in all kind of directions that sometimes seem like dead ends. I don’t have much control over it.

Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sat 19 May.

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