In cooperation with Kunsthalle Wien, mumok cinema presents two new film works by the German artist Marcel Odenbach, whose solo exhibition Beweis zu nichts (Proof of Nothing) is currently showing at Kunsthalle Wien. The two works Ein Bild vom Bild machen (Taking a picture of the picture) and Fishing is not done on Tuesdays explore similar themes to the works in the exhibition, and stand for the artist’s own intensive investigation of the past and of memory. Odenbach is in particular interested in German postwar history and the vestiges and echoes of National Socialism right up to the present. His films address themes like dealing with past, genocide, and the consequences of colonialism. He goes beyond the European context and looks at diverse cultures and political constellations. His own biography and the stories of the lives of others are important motifs in his work, which presents his case both aesthetically and politically.
Ein Bild vom Bild machen (Taking a picture of the picture) was made on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Ludwig Museum in Cologne. The film focuses on the chocolate maker and art collector Peter Ludwig: Odenbach interweaves images of Ludwig’s villa with documentary footage of Ludwig discussing his taste and cultural-political ambitions, but also admitting to the fact that he is vain, easily miffed, and that he strives to be acknowledged as a collector.
Peter Ludwig and his wife keep a portrait of themselves by the sculptor Arno Breker from the 1980s in their garage. A few shots later, the camera briefly rests on the bronze sculpture of a spear-bearer standing in front of an eagle in the garden of their Aachen residence: this too is a work by the National Socialists’ most favorite sculptor.
The film Fishing is not done on Tuesdays by Lukas Marxt and Marcel Odenbach looks at a spot on Ghana’s coast and foregrounds a modern house made of concrete. A rotating perspective upon a treetop shot from above constitutes the first element of a visual grid pattern that defines the entire film. Architectural lines become visual axes, dividing and giving rhythm to the vegetation. Framed by this abstract ornament, the film zooms in on everyday scenes: fishermen on their boats or praying before they start work. There is no fishing on Tuesdays, and on Sundays, the loudspeaker system dedicates to spreading the Christian message. The sounds of rotors, music and the sea superimpose themselves on the locality’s own rhythms. The fortress-like house on stilts, however, constitutes the film’s central image – it is its grid-patterned interior that conceives the exterior world as a landscape.
Marcel Odenbach, Ein Bild vom Bild machen, 2016, 15 min
Marcel Odenbach / Lukas Marxt, Fishing is not done on Tuesdays, 2017, 15 min
Followed by a conversation between Marcel Odenbach and Vanessa Joan Müller
Marcel Odenbach lives and works in Cologne and Berlin. From 1974–1979 he studied architecture, art history, and semiotics at Aachen Technical University. Since 1976 he has been working with video in performances, installations, and tapes. He became a professor at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design and the Academy of Media Arts Cologne in 1992, and in 2010 professor at Düsseldorf Art Academy. Exhibitions (selection): Inside-Out, Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2016); Papierarbeiten 1975–2013, Kunstmuseum Bonn (2013/2014); Stille Bewegungen. Tranquil Motions (international touring exhibition organized by Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen e. V. (ifa), Stuttgart), shown at Centro de Exposiciones SUBTE, Montevideo, Uruguay, and other venues (2014).
Vanessa Joan Müller, Head of Dramaturgy, and curator of the exhibition Marcel Odenbach. Beweis zu nichts (Proof of Nothing), Kunsthalle Wien