Seated Videos, 1977-1997: Marcel Odenbach

January 22 - February 26, 2005

Anton Kern Gallery is pleased to present Seated Videos 1977-1997, a survey exhibition of works by German artist Marcel Odenbach. This is the artist’s seventh solo show in New York and the fourth at this gallery.


Marcel Odenbach is a pre-eminent video artist who has, since the 1970s, influenced the development of video as an art medium. His experiments with narrative and representation, production techniques (repetition, fade, dissolve, splicing from historical film footage), and presentation (from single monitor to multi-ˇchannel projection) have established the ground for contemporary video practice.


The current exhibition brings together nine video installations and one projection from a twenty- year period including one of the artist’s first pieces, Der Konsum meiner eigenen Kritik (The Consumption of My Own Critique), 1977/78, which immediately sets the tone between political philosophy and ironic self-reflection. With the exception of Auf Schritt und Tritt (With Every Step), 1997, and Hals über Kopf (Head Over Heels), 1993, none of the works have been shown in the U.S.


The dialectical relationship between original and reused footage, contrasting soundtracks, and the physicality of the TV monitors in dialogue with the ephemeral quality of the image generates a dynamic that can at times be subtly disorienting. However, the tightly woven network of information sets in motion an analytic deconstruction of the visual, linguistic and formal categories of image making. In addition, Odenbach’s employment of literary titles, which often refer to puns or traditional German sayings, expose inherent contradictions in our ideologically streamlined perception of reality. While thematically situated within the fields of the political and the social, Odenbach’s work operates as a decisive uncovering of repressed memories.

Installation Views