Marcel Odenbach is one of the pioneers and important exponents of video art. During the last 35 years, the artist has developed a specific iconography for dealing with a well-defined range of topics. His videos often examine the construction and definition of individuality which is constantly seen in the context of historical processes and cultural identities. While Odenbach has established himself a profile as a video artist well known among the public interested in art, his comprehensive graphic oeuvre still remains rather undiscovered in Europe. This seems surprising in regard to the many parallels between his videos and works on paper.
The exhibition in Bonn, developed in close cooperation with the artist, aims at redressing this imbalance by presenting the artist as a drawer and collagist so comprehensively for the first time. The exhibition is going to include works from all creative periods, starting with works from the mid-1970s in which Odenbach describes his living environment and his relation to the world. These drawings prefigure the collages of the 1980s, which on the one hand are drafts for his video installations, yet on the other hand they function as autonomous combinations of text and image. Nothing is as it seems – Odenbach’s art requires a reflective way of seeing, an active viewer, especially when it comes to his latest papercuts. The viewers are asked to not content themselves with a general overview, but to pay attention to the details which sometimes reveal frightening and always ambivalent insights..