Helene's story


My new multimedia project, Helene's story, is loosely based on the biography of Hélène Rytman – the wife of prominent French philosopher, Louis Althusser. In 1980 Hélène had been strangled to death by her husband, who admitted his crime, but faced no charges by reason of temporary insanity. Althusser’s writings form an important part of contemporary philosophy and art theory, and many intellectuals have debated on how the murder affected his legacy. Some choose to disregard it as an accident caused by Althusser’s mental illness; others see it as a result of the philosopher’s bleak, deterministic view of society, in which people are fully controlled by state ideology (with family being the basic and most powerful of its institutions). Althusser himself joined the debate with his posthumous memoir, “The future lasts forever”, where he gave a detailed, if not quite accurate account of his life, his relationship with Hélène and her death. Throughout this discussion Hélène herself has been silent; in death, as in life, she remained speechless – an insignificant woman lost in the shadow of her famous husband. The goal of the project is to reconstruct Helene’s story, while at the same time reflecting on the power, structure and meaning of ideological abstractions.



  • Here Are My Reasons, oil on canvas, 60 x 48 in., 2016

  • Exaggerated Initiatives, oil on canvas, 58 x 36 in., 2016

  • Class Struggles, oil on canvas, 48 x 36 in., 2015

  • Process Without a Subject, oil on canvas, 60 x 48 in., 2016

  • Mastery at a Distance, oil on paper, 9 x 11 in., 2016

  • Caught in The System, oil on paper, 9 x 11 in., 2016

  • To All Appearances, oil on paper, 9 x 11 in., 2016

  • Scientific Consience, oil on paper, 9 x 11 in., 2016

  • Incidental Costs of production, oil on paper, 9 x 11 in., 2016

  • Coherence And Intelligibility, oil on paper, 9 x 11 in., 2016

  • What Remained Unspoken, oil on paper, 9 x 11 in., 2016

  • Causally Determining Factor, oil on paper, 9 x 11 in., 2016

  • Every Child Knows, oil on paper, 9 x 11 in., 2016

  • An Atypical Case, oil on paper, 9 x 11 in., 2016

  • Professional Consequences, oil on paper, 9 x 11 in., 2016

  • Some Arbitrary Construction, oil on paper, 9 x 11 in., 2016