The exhibition “Tranquil Motions” by Marcel Odenbach who one of the leading video artists in Germany is produced by the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifA) in Stuttgart and curated by Matthias Mühling.
Venue: Alliance Française de Karachi (AFK)
6-17 April 2019
AFK gallery hours: Monday-Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM (The gallery is closed on Sundays)
Celebrated for his complex collages, detailed drawings, and cited in countless publications as a pioneer of video art: it’s no wonder why he has become a figure of national heritage. He continues to be considered––in his native Germany and beyond––a preeminent protagonist of the field, and of contemporary political art.
Often dealing with how the past infringes on the present, Odenbach’s work repeatedly merges connections between his own biography and the history of others. How history itself is configured, represented, and rewritten is frequently explored. Whether approaching Africa’s colonial history, the Rwandan genocide, the American Civil Rights movement, or most prominently National Socialism and the Holocaust, his research and practice persistently contemplates social justice, migration, and freedom of expression. Drawing from personal observations, recollections, and public archival material, his work reflects on a wide array of social and cultural concerns that serve to illustrate specific topics and at the same time bring about universal perspectives on humanity, identity, and the individual in a global world. A master of montage, Odenbach’s experimentation with media, and his decidedly special form of storytelling, helped establish the foundations for contemporary video art, paving the path for generations of artists. Perceiving the self and the other, in manifold ways his work subtly mediates material memorials, tragedy, and social consciousness.
Politically charged, engaged with the aesthetics and politics of societies across cultures, Odenbach’s oeuvre over the decades––which showcases innovative experimentation with video, performance, installation, drawing, and collage––also accounts for his status as a highly acclaimed multimedia artist. Accordingly, he has held positions in Germany as Professor of Media Arts since the 1990s; between 1992–97 at the State University of Design in Karlsruhe, from 2001–2010 at the College of Media Arts, Cologne, and since 2010, at the Art Academy Düsseldorf.
He has had numerous solo presentations in institutions around the world, most recent at Kunsthalle in Vienna. He was also part of documenta 8.
“Tranquil Motions” includes key video works and works on paper from the past three decades. The combination of exhibits unfolds a panorama of Odenbach´s entire oeuvre, from the early videos, which were still conceived for presentation on monitors, to his complex installations including large projections, the exhibition illustrates the subtlety and formal variety with which Odenbach stages the moving picture and its acoustic accompaniment. The works on paper constitute a separate and no less important part of his practice. The selection of works for the exhibition combines a retrospective orientation with an attempt to cover the major thematic emphases in the artist´s oeuvre.
The exhibition includes 10 video installations (lengths between 3:40 and 31:20) and works on paper