The Man Who Climbed Up the Stairs of Life and Found Out They Were Cinema Seats

The Man Who Climbed Up the Stairs of Life and Found Out They Were Cinema Seats

By Keren Cytter

Edited by Beatrix Ruf, Kunsthalle Zürich, Nicolaus Schafhausen and Frankfurter Kunstverein

Distributed for Sternberg Press




“Suddenly Hirst's head falls, with the neck and the coat. That is – Hirst's body falls over the bar. The straw penetrates his gullet through the nose and violently wakes the shrimp, the calamari, the salad, and the brandy in his stomach. He vomits it all on the bar, and they stream over the smooth brown wood. The gallerist gets up from his chair and goes over to Mr. Hirst. The barman hands him a nylon bag and helps him collect the animals and the juices, both modern and postmodern. He goes back to Jeff's table with an arrogant smile and says they can move. Then he lifts the bag that's dripping with small chunks of phlegm from the sides and says 'Tomorrow at Christie's.'”—Keren Cytter

Written in seven chapters and seven styles, this book constitutes the first novel by the Israeli artist and filmmaker Keren Cytter (*1977). Both the grotesque and the absurd become tools to narrate the progression of her main character's life, artist Jeff Steinberg. With the recurring motif of scrambled reels, the story also functions as a reflection on the medium of film.

Keren Cytter lives and works in Amsterdam and Berlin. She is a recipient of The Baloise Art Prize 2006 and has held solo exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (2004), the Kunsthalle Zürich and Frankfurter Kunstverein (2005), and most recently at the Kunst-Werke in Berlin.


Out of Print ISBN: 9781933128092 168 pp. | 5.5 in x 8.25 in 12 b&w illus.

Not for sale in Europe or the UK.


Beatrix Ruf

Kunsthalle Zürich

Nicolaus Schafhausen

Nicolaus Schafhausen is a curator at the Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism in Munich.

Frankfurter Kunstverein