© Keren Cytter

The Victim

Keren Cytter

  • Year 2006
  • Edition Edition 4/4
  • Material/Technique Single-channel video installation (color, sound)
  • Dimensions Own room, projection life size
  • Length 5'
  • Category Media art

Keren Cytter’s film The Victim—which, in 2006, was awarded the Baloise, a prize for work on view in the “Statements” section of Art Basel—is an exploration in other- and self-determination. The artist, who was born in Tel Aviv in 1977, staged the film like a group therapy session. In it, the protagonists—with a script in hand—awkwardly embody the roles Cytter has assigned them. There is the “hero”, the “naive”, the “victim”, and the “twins”, who look nothing alike yet speak their lines in unison. The Victim was deliberately designed as a low budget video with the artist's friends in her own apartment. The shots are shaky and over- or under-exposed. A congruent plot remains elusive: the ‘actors’ play themselves but are simultaneously busy assigning and evaluating their roles dictated in the script. Cytter has deliberately created an experimental arrangement with The Victim in order to demonstrate that script and reality are inseparable. “Every spoken word, every action can be called a script in my opinion. The film touches on commonplace issues such as security, insecurity and heteronomy,” the artist explains. The stranged web of relationships with mutual recriminations and insecurities takes an ominous course: in the end, the victim shoots himself to the head.

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