Table of Contents



I          Introduction: The Method       

1. The Aesthetic Approach              

2. The Avant-Garde Context             

3. Semiotics/Semiotics of Film             

4. Analysis of Film and Television            

5. Biographical Method             


II         Concepts and Performances 1975-81      

1. Historical Context             

a) Minimal, Pop and Conceptual Art         

I. General outline            

II. Point of departure           

b) Performance            

I. General outline           

II. Point of departure          

2. Marcel Odenbach. Biographical Notes            

a)  Family, childhood, studies             

b)  Environment, development of his working method and his opting for art            

c)  Defining time and place. The Cologne scene        

3. Concepts and Performances by Marcel Odenbach, 1975 – 81       

a) Unrealised concepts  

b) Performances            

c) Correspondences: features of form and technique, and  

the artist’s structuring of processes; subject areas         


III        Videotapes 1976 – 89          

1. Video and Art      

a) Historiography and Mythology          

b) The Partition             

c) Delimiting the Field            


2. Historical context of the use of the medium    



a) Basic technical properties  

b) Artist and Technology //Medium   

c) Artist and Concepts 

d) Exhibitions and Art Institutions            

3. The Situation in the mid-1970s 

a) Television  and video            

b) Spectacle and Medium         

c) Real and fictional          

d) Artist, technique //technology and concepts  

e) Exhibitions and Art-Institutions         

4. Marcel Odenbach: Videotapes 1976-89

 a) Individual videotapes           

I.  Exercises in semiotics, 1976-8        

II. Single-angle videos – Questions of communication as artist’s monologue, 1976-8         

III. The first videos with a dialogue structure - Homing on 

     Television, 1976-8       

Excursion No. 1: ATV, Video-rebels, Workshops      

IV. The phase of drastic cutting. From a critique of TV to the filmic structures, 1979-82       

V. Delimiting the Field of Vision. From the filmic imagination to the historic sources and personal memories (1983)


Excursion No. 2: Minutes of a Take   


VI Commissioned productions and the synthesis of previous formal means – the device of ‘simulated memories’, 1984-9        

b) Correspondences: features of form and technique, and  

    the artist’s structuring of time; subject areas         



IV        Video Installations 1978 – 98       

1.  Time and Space             

a) Development of theoretical function //Unfolding the function in theory        

I  Defining Categories         

II. The ‘Art of Experience’       

b)  Dividing the video installations        

c)  Delimiting the area of investigation        

2.  The Historical Context and the Situation as found 

3.  Marcel Odenbach: Video installations 1978-98          

a) Individual video installations        

I.  Dialogical structure from the logic of the camera’s    perspective – on the emergence of initial subjects of   special interest, 1978-81       

II.     Dialogical structure from the logic of the picture       support Comparison of subjects in the artist’s own       recordings; the blurring of levels, 1980-82        

III.       Pictorial overlap and subdivision in the spatial context:      Interpolation of the parallel levels of history and       imagination and their representation, 1983-6          

IV.     Widening the spatial effect and enhancing the focus of      attention: ‘Site-specific’ Installations 1987-9                        

V.       The Spatial Monitor-Productions – on the Division and      the Unification I. (1989-91)       

VI.                 The concerted spatial effect of large-scale image       projections and monitors: on Division and Unification      II. (1989-92)      

VII.       Darkened Spaces: BrandTrilogy, 1993-4     

VIII.       Irreconcilable dualism of the individual and global       medium: the old/new subjects and the old/new       metaphors 1995-8      

Correspondences: features of form and technique and the artist’s structuring of Time-space; subject areas              



V       Conclusion 


1. The problems of distinguishing between film and video and the concomitant  problems in establishing an ‘aesthetics of video’ – on a more comprehensive  aesthetics   

 2. Marcel Odenbach as a case in point of artistic development in working with the  video medium   

 a) Self-portrait and Medium         

b) Production: Gegen Malerei (‘Versus Painting’)      

c) The receptioin of Gegen Fernsehen (‘Versus Television’)    

d) Distribution: for a different tele-vision         

3. Marcel Odenbach’s influence in the development of the video medium and his  significance for the integration of time-dependent art forms in the art-historical  context           

a) Form(at)            

b) Contents            

c) Strategy/ies of Montage          

I. Film quotes          

Excursion No. 3: Goya and Beuys         

II. Musical quotes         

III. Text quotes          


VI Appendix 

1. Catalog  

a) Performances           

b) Video tapes           

c) Video installations          

d) Exhibitions            

2. Bibliography                                      

3. Unpublished writings