An Exhibition by the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa), Stuttgart, Germany
Together with ifa,the Goethe-Institut Thailand and MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum in collaboration with the curator Matthias Mühling, presents the exhibition Marcel Odenbach — Stille Bewegungen. Tranquil Motions.
Fourteen selected works from the past three decades, including video tapes, video installations, and works on paper, exemplify the artist’s output. The combination of exhibits unfolds a panorama of Odenbach’s entire oeuvre, illuminating how the artist studies different cultures and paints a portrait, as analytical as it is emotional, of the human being in a globalized society.
Marcel Odenbach, who was born in Cologne in 1953, is a pioneer of video art. His works on video and video installations attest to his crucial role in promoting and shaping the international development of this genre. From the early videos, which were still conceived for presentation on monitors, to his complex installations including large projections, the exhibition illustrates the subtlety and formal variety with which Odenbach stages the moving picture and its acoustic accompaniment. The works on paper constitute a separate and no less important part of his oeuvre.
The selection of works for the exhibition combines this retrospective orientation with an attempt to cover the major thematic emphases in the artist’s oeuvre. The close critical engagement with the problem of how to deal with the past, in particular, illustrates that his art is an exemplary reflection on the German post-war era and its social situation. Yet Marcel Odenbach also worked early on to embed this thematic emphasis in a wider horizon, expanding on the specifically German issues to achieve a more universal perspective. He studied different cultures and political constellations and integrated his observations into his work, drawing connections between the German trauma of Nazi rule and the Rwandan genocide, between images of masculinity in Turkey and the role of women in Venezuela, between the familiar and the foreign, between his own biography and the history of others.
Odenbach’s videos and graphic works are complex narratives the artist creates by means of a unique collage technique out of recorded film and television footage, archival material, and pictures he has produced himself. Montaging public and private imagery, he spins stories that interweave the larger frame of history with the emotions of the individual human being and his own biography.
To give this panorama of cultures greater focus at the various venues of the touring exhibition, ifa has asked the artist to select one of the works on display in the exhibition that the presentation in each region will emphasize. It will receive a prominent place in the gallery and be addressed in ways designed to stimulate the local discourse and specific discussion.