Kunstverein in Hamburg
30.9.2022, 7 pm
An Impotent Metaphor, 1979
Bruce & Norman Yonemoto
Keren Cytter in conversation with Nicholas Tammens
In the context of the exhibition Mirror of Desire
Please join us with artist and filmmaker Keren Cytter on Friday 30 September for a screening of Bruce and Norman Yonemoto’s An Impotent Metaphor (1979) and Keren Cytter’s Fashions (2019), followed by a conversation with the artist.
Keren Cytter (*Tel Aviv, 1977 lives in New York and Münster) makes films which—much like the Yonemoto brothers—borrow from the semantic language of the popular media of their time. These humorous and often unnerving videos put the conventions of theatre and cinema into dialogue with the vernacular forms of YouTube tutorials, social media, and reality television. Cytter’s filmmaking looks to how these media construct our notions of reality and influences our relationships with each other.
In her video Fashions (2019), Cytter uses overlapping narratives to develop what we might see as an ambivalent angle on big themes: misogyny, sexism, age discrimination, human exploitation, and the appropriation of political symbols by the fashion industry. By showing the ubiquity of contemporary media, she looks to the familiar, normative role that the representation of violence plays in our everyday lives while evoking a distrust of its state of acceptance. While the Yonemoto’s An Impotent Metaphor (1979) features as the second film in their Soap Opera Series—which includes Based on Romance (1979) and Green Card: An American Romance (1982)—by focusing on the romantic drama of the L.A art scene at the end of the 1970s. Here cliché-driven characters express the banality of idealized romance, boredom, and the demands of fantasy. Norman Yonemoto himself stars as an artist working against the dominant culture, with some irony, he claims to make art to "expose the derivative nature of the romantic ideal" and "promote the examination of our personal contexts." In both films, we see how the dominance of media representations shapes our reality, our desires, our ambitions, our shortcomings, our notions of love, our attempts at happiness.
Keren Cytter’s videos have been shown in solo exhibitions at Düsseldorf Kunstverein, Düsseldorf (2021); Winterthur Kunstmuseum, Winterthur (2020); Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv (2019); Museion Bolzano, Bolzano (2019), Künstlerhaus - Halle für Kunst & Medien, Graz (2016); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2015), Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2014); State of Concept, Athens (2014), Tate Modern, London (2012), Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2011); München Kunstverein (2011); Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel (2010); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2010); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2010);
She was awarded the Joseph Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2021), Absolut Art Award, Stockholm (2009), Ars Viva Prize, Kulturkeis der Deutschen Wirschaft, Berlin (2008) and the Bâloise Art Prize at Art Basel (2006).
Bruce (1949, USA) and Norman Yonemoto (1946-2014, USA) are artists working with single-channel video and multimedia installations. Born to Japanese-American parents, the brothers were grew up in Silicon Valley in the immediate post-war period.In 1968, Norman moved to Los Angeles where he attended UCLA before completing an MFA at the American Film Institute Center for Advanced Studies. In 1972 Bruce earned a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and continued his studies at the Sokei Art Institute in Tokyo. After returning from Japan in 1975, Bruce completed an MFA at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. The two founded KYO-DAI Productions in 1976.
Their work has been exhibited around the world, including at the Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, California Video at the Getty Research Institute, the Long Beach Museum of Art, the 11th Paris Biennale, the Tokyo Biennale, and the Tokyo Biennale. Paris Biennial; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE); Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Image Forum, Tokyo; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; American Film Institute National Video Festival, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; Santa Monica Museum of Art; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; and Kunstverein in Cologne.
Bruce Yonemoto is a professor and adjunct professor of Studio Art at the University of California and a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship this year.