ABOUT THE VIDEO ARCHIVE

The Video Archive at CCA Tel Aviv-Yafo was established in 2000. It comprises over 4000 videos by Israeli and international artists, with works from the 1960s to the present day. What distinguishes the archive is the presence of early Israeli video art – comprising the first experiments in the medium – works featured in VideoZone – International Video Art Biennial (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010) video documentation of works presented at blurrrr – International Performance Art Biennial (1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009), and several works by contemporary video artists. The video archive is a hub for research and education and it functions as a pedagogical tool for several of our educational programs. Screenings based on titles that are currently present in the Archive have been presented in venues in Israel, such as the Tel Aviv Cinematheque and the Jerusalem Film Festival, and abroad at Art in General in New York, OK Center for Contemporary Art in Linz (Austria), the Jewish Museum in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, Tate Modern in London, Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, Centro da Cultura Judaica in São Paulo, and Galerie KUB in Leipzig (Germany) among others. The archive was founded with the support of the late Mr. Arye Sabinsky in memory of his mother, Elizabeth Sabinsky, and with additional support from the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation. In 2020, after twenty years from its establishment, CCA Tel Aviv-Yafo has received a grant from Artis and established a fellowship whose aim is to map, research and restructure the Video Archive with a focus on Israeli artists.

The video Archive and its library is open to students, curators, professionals, and to the general public by appointment. To consult its titles, please click here. To set up a visit, please contact: archive@cca.org.il

often uses clichés and copies stories, and in an interview with Ginevra Bria she stated that when “I was sixteen, I sent short stories by Ephraim Kishon to a national teen magazine. No one noticed it, and I was accepted by the newspaper as a young journalist. Maybe I never wrote nonlinear stories. Maybe I just copy moments, highlights, or stories and stick them together so they look like one nonlinear narrative.

Cytter’s style recalls home movies or a diary, and the stories are of familiar situations, mostly about complicated relationships. The stories play with clichés and as Helena Reckitt writes by “recycling pre-existing narratives, she avoids the demand to be original. She is more interested in structuring her stories with their musical sense of rhythmic composition and repetition than in the details of the stories themselves.” Adding to that in the catalogue of her solo presentation at Moderna Museet in Stockholm,

exhibition curator Magnus af Petersens writes in his catalogue essay that her works 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 medialized age.”

The video work, Der Spiegel [the mirror] (2007) was shot in one take like a dance. Filmed in a standard Berlin apartment, the actors are half-naked talking to the camera as they move throughout the space. They are conscious of the viewer speaking in different languages, they comment on the use of subtitles and stage direction.  The camera swoops around and falls on the floor multiple times, in what seems like a mistake; it is all strategically planned out in perfect rhythm. Keren Cytter intentionally filmed in the motion of a figure-eight swooping out of the window

Video artist Keren Cytter (*1977, Tel Aviv; lives and works in New York) works at a rapid pace, she has written over 65 scripts in the last decade. She usually completes a film within a month using her apartment as the location and friends as the actors. In her artistic process, writing the text takes the most time for Cytter to develop; she usually works on the script up until the last minute. She gives the performers the script one day before; this is a deliberate strategy that Cytter explains: “They don’t have much space to express themselves, also I don’t like so much that they will express themselves.”

Cytter’s films are experimental modes of storytelling using cinematic techniques such as hand-held camerawork, jump cuts, split screens, double exposure, non-naturalistic lighting, out-of-sync dubbing, and portentous voiceovers. The storytelling is experimental; the nonlinear script jumps between conversations, monologue, and narration. She

onto the street and back into the room. The main character talks about how she feels like a 16-year-old as she waits for a lover. The other women in the scene try to cover her body and remind her that she is in her forties and that her body is aging. Between drags of cigarettes, the women discuss clichés, sensual desire, gender, and language. 

Keren Cytter, Der Spiegel, 2007. Video, color, sound, 5 minutes. Courtesy of the artist and Pilar Corrias, London. The video was presented at CCA Tel Aviv-Yafo in 2019, as part of “Keren Cytter: Sponsored Content” the artist’s solo exhibition at the Center.

Der Spiegel by Keren Cytter

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