Marcel Odenbach b. 1953
As If Memories Could Deceive Me (1986)
1986, 17:29 min, b&w and color, sound

In As if Memories Could Deceive Me, a piano keyboard, symbol of German bourgeois tradition, is the metaphorical ground upon which Odenbach devises a dynamic associative discourse on the construction of personal and cultural identity. A haunted theater of collective and subjective memory is constructed from archival film and mass media representations. Signifiers of German history and cultural heritage — Wagnerian opera, Hitler's rallies, the Nuremberg trials, Bavarian folk dancers — are orchestrated and conjoined on the screen with male fashion iconography and autobiographical references. From ornate, 19th-century Baroque architecture to a contemporary menswear emporium, the artist traces an historical trajectory of cultural excess. Confronting his bourgeois German past, Odenbach achieves a personal history that questions the construction of identity within this cultural context.

Conceived/Directed/Edited: Marcel Odenbach. Featuring: The New England Conservatory Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Piero Bellugi. Pianist: Andrew Newberg. Music: Robert Schumann, F. Marshall & U. Timmermann. Coordinating Producer: Kathy Rae Huffman. Camera: James Griebsch. Sound: Sam Negri. On- line Editor: Daniel McCabe. A Co-Production of the Goethe Institute, Boston and The Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund. 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 materials.