The Seven Most Exciting Hours of Mr. Trier's Life in Twenty-four Chapters

Keren Cytter


Artist Novel, 14 x 21.5 cm, 193 p, language: English, publisher: Rotterdam/Leuven/Berlin: Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art/STUK Kunstencentrum/Sternberg Press, ISBN: 978-1-933128-41-2.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2024/768).

Literary synopsis

The Seven Most Exciting Hour of Mr. Trier’s Life is an adventure novel based on a true story told in a televised interview by the Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier, describing seven hours in the life of Tibor Klaus Trier —Lars von Trier's father— from the moment that his wife goes into labor early in the morning until Lars is born. The setting is Copenhagen, dominated by a hospital that recalls von Trier's television series The Kingdom. The plot is thick: Tibor arrives with his wife Margaret at the Maternity Ward of Mercy General Hospital, only to realize that he must return home to retrieve a forgotten mobile —his only link to a sister in distress. On the way, he stops to get gas and gets involved in a car robbery. A cancer takes root in his body. Back at home, he sneaks a peak at Margaret's e-mail and a great secret is revealed that makes him rush back to the hospital to kill her and her son. En route he crashes his new car and his body breaks into pieces and he loses his memory. Mercy General is haunted by a great ghost and the day is Armageddon when the ghost needs to challenge the living with an army of zombie children –all born within its walls. Who is this great ghost? What does Margaret hold in her body? Will Tibor survive his one day old cancer? All and more will be revealed…

Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice

Narrative is central to Cytter’s work, which is characterised by multiple layers and references to other film-makers, to horror movies and reality TV. Hitchcock, Pasolini, Cassavetes and Fassbinder are a few of the directors from whom she gathers inspiration and occasionally material. One of Cytter’s novels, The Seven Most Exciting Hour of Mr. Trier’s Life, is based on an authentic TV interview with the Danish film director Lars von Trier. In the style of a detective novel it tells a story starting when von Trier’s mother experiences the first labor pain and ending with the delivery of baby Lars. The publication of The Seven Most Exciting Hour of Mr. Trier’s Life is occasioned by solo exhibitions of Keren Cytter’s work at Witte de With, Rotterdam, 1–30 March 2008, curated by Nicolaus Schafhausen and Zoë Gray and at STUK Kunstencentrum, Leuven, 8 Dec 2007–3 Feb 2008, curated by Eva Wittocx.

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