Helene's story


This group of painting on paper is loosely based on the story 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. Today Helene is largely forgotten; in death, as in life, she remains an insignificant woman lost in the shadow of her famous husband. Althusser, on the other hand, remains an influential thinker: his texts written before and after the murder, continue to be published, widely read and discussed. My new multi-media project recovers Helene’s side of the story and reviews Althusserian theory from this new perspective.

The paintings titled with passages from Althusser's memoir "The Future Lasts Forever," explore the story’s emotional and ideological reverberations. They are accompanied by an artist book and a puppet performance staged for video.



  • 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