Marcel Odenbach

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Marcel Odenbach
Born 1953
Cologne, West Germany
Nationality German
Known for Video art, Sculpture, Photography

Marcel Odenbach, with Ulrike Rosenbach and Klaus vom Bruch, is one of the most well-established and internationally known German video artists. In the 1970s, they formed the producer group ATV. Odenbach's works paradigmatically criticize the specific conditions of the German society for which he usually finds literary titles referring to puns or traditional sayings.[1]

Life and work[edit]

Odenbach was born in 1953 in Cologne, Germany, where he studied architecture, art history and semiotics between 1974–79. In the late 1970s, he started using video work, tapes, installations, performances and drawings to probe the cultural identity of his native Germany. His ambivalence to cultural history shows in works such as "Make a Fist in the Pocket", a German expression for hiding one's rage.

Odenbach was a professor of media art at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design between 1992–98. He now lives and works in Cologne and is the professor for film and video art at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf since 2010.[2]

Some Video Works[edit]

  • 1976-77: The Eternally Creative Hands or For All Art Historians (video, 4 minutes)
  • 1977-78: To Stay in a Good Mood (video, 13 minutes)
  • 1983: Die Distanz zwischen mir und meinen Verlusten
  • 1984: I Do the Pain Test
  • 1986: As If Memories Could Deceive Me
  • 1986: In the Peripheral Vision of the Witness
  • 1987: (Srecan Susret) Die gluckliche Begegnung (translation: The Happy Encounter, video, 6 minutes)
  • 1994: Make a Fist in the Pocket
  • 1995: Vom Kommen und vom Gehen (Coming and Going) [3]
  • 1995: Standing is not falling down
  • 1997-98: The Consumation of My Own Critique (video, DVD player, monitor, chair)


  1. ^ Kölnischer Kunstverein. Fünf in Köln: Michael Buthe, Sigmar Polke, Ulrike Rosenbach, Gerhard Rühm, Alf Schuler : [Ausstellung] Kölnischer Kunstverein, 24.1.-18.2.1979. Köln: Der Kunstverein, 1979.
  2. ^ Odenbach, Marcel, and Dan Cameron. Marcel Odenbach. New York: New Museum of Contemporary Art, 1998..
  3. ^ Imai – inter media art institute video Vom Kommen und Gehen