Gisela Capitain

Marcel Odenbach

27 Oct - 22 Dec 2012

© Marcel Odenbach
Er wollte nur zur Arbeit gehen, 2008
Collage, water color,
pencil and xerox on paper
each 36 x 46 cm
27 October - 22 December 2012

This is the first exhibition of Marcel Odenbach at Galerie Gisela Capitain. It shows new works on paper as well as the video installation ”Ausser Rand und Band (To Go Wild)”, which is simultaneously exhibited in the spaces of the Friedrichshof Collection in Zurndorf and Vienna. Odenbach had the opportunity to examine the archive material of the former commune of Friedrichshof, which had not been accessible until spring this year. For his film Odenbach used footage from the active period of the commune Friedrichshof, which lasted from 1972 until its closure in 1991. Opposite to the found film material, Odenbach projects Sigmund Freud’s therapy room being playfully taken apart by four children. The psychoanalytic methods of Sigmund Freud clash with the so-called “Aktionsanalyse” invented by Otto Muehl. Amongst other techniques, the Primal Scream - based on the psychologist Arthur Janov - was used by Otto Muehl for his therapies. ”Psychoanalysis has strongly influenced the 20th century. It has changed education, sexuality, law and the way we deal with memory. Sigmund Freud’s couch has become a symbol for the psychological therapy of modern man. The abyss of one’s soul is rendered explicit and at the same time a promise of salvation is made.” (Marcel Odenbach)Odenbach approached the material of the Friedrichshof commune in a similar way as he had done when he addressed in other works episodes of German History such as the Third Reich and the DDR. ”Like a detective, I had to arrange the found material and had to relate personally confided narratives to official images. Early on I recognized different realities existing beside facts and interpretations. I learned to make sense of the different fragments. The collage gave me the possibility to construct my own understanding of history.” (MO)
The small collages in the central exhibition space also deal with the human being within his social environment. Marcel Odenbach takes up familiar images from film and TV to use in his works as well as depictions social deprivation and the conditions of disadvantaged groups. Racism, discrimination and the problems of the Third World - especially Africa - are main topics within his oevre.The collage “Sitzfleisch“ shows Joseph Kabila, the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, still a controversial figure even though elected by his people. “Familienfeier (Family Affair)” is related to the video “Das große Fenster (The big window)” from 2001. Both collage and film refer to the view Adolf Hitler had from his former residence at the Obersalzberg near Berchtesgarden.The large-scale collages, including “Ein Tag am Meer (A Day at the Sea)“, are made by large amounts of pieces of paper, which in turn are the product of photocopied and pigmented collages made out of excerpts from magazines or newspapers, personal documents and found images. Odenbach explains this working process as follows:“As an artist I ask myself whether my own neurotic technique of collage might be something like a replacement of therapy?“

Tags: Otto Muehl, Marcel Odenbach