In this startlingly original and highly charged work, Odenbach locates the construction of self and identity in the realm of vision, creating an enigmatic memory theater of popular and historical representation. The Romantic opera of Schubert's Erl King alternates with Burundi funeral songs as the dark musical accompaniment to this inquiry into personal and cultural loss and desire. Using a formal distancing device, Odenbach masks the screen with horizontal and vertical bands of black, allowing the viewer the partially blocked vision of a voyeur. The fragmented slivers of visible images — archival footage that suggests a Leni Riefenstahl film, pornographic film, playing cards, ambiguous objects manipulated by Odenbach — are rendered even more provocative by the censoring force of the black bands. While the concealing panels frustrate vision, the elusive images that are revealed suggest the existence of another reality "beneath" the surface — memory? the subconscious? Odenbach positions identity in a tense relation to history, culture and sexuality, where the self is only partially visible and partially knowable.
Scenario/Sound/Editor: Marcel Odenbach. Music: "Der Erl Koenig," Schubert; "Chant Avec Cithare," Burundi. -- EAI
This title is available for exhibitions, screenings, and institutional use through Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), NY. Please visit the EAI Online Catalogue for further information about this artist and work. The EAI site offers extensive resources for curators, students, artists and educators, including: an in-depth guide to exhibiting, collecting, and preserving media art; A Kinetic History: The EAI Archives Online, a collection of essays, primary documents, and media charting EAI's 40-year history and the early years of the emergent video art scene; and expanded contextual and educational material