Marcel Odenbach Biography

Marcel Odenbach is known as one of the most important video artists in Germany and one of the first video pioneers in Europe. He was born there in 1953. In his youth, Odenbach studied art history, architecture and semiotics. Since the mid 70s Odenbach has created tapes, drawings, performances and installations. He has always been committed to voicing his political and social views. Odenbach uses a mix of film that he has shot with addition to excerpts from news reels and classic movies and dense soundtracks. The Electronic Arts Intermix website describes his work by saying, "His works engage in a provocative discourse on the construction of self in relation to historical and cultural representation. For Odenbach, identity is defined in the elusive realm of vision - seeing and being seen. Positioning himself, and thus the spectator, in the role of observer, witness, or voyeur, he undertakes a highly charged inquiry into subjectivity within the context of personal and cultural memory, individual and collective history, past and present."

Marcel Odenbach won the First Marler Video Art Award in 1984 and the Grand Prize at the Locarno Video Festival in the same year. He remains on the forefront of new progression in film and video art making films even into the mid 1990's. Odenbach was a Professor at the Staatliche Hochschule fur Gestaltung in Karlsruhe from 1992-1998. Odenbach's videotapes and exhibits have been shown throughout the world, including the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and The Museum of Modern Art in New York. His one-person exhibitions include such places as the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, Kšlnishcher Kunstverein in Cologne, Germany and The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. He is still living and resides in Cologne, Germany.


Cameron, Dan. (2010, October 20). Marcel Odenbach. Retrieved from
Marcel Odenbach. (2010, October 20). Retrieved from
Marcel Odenbach (b. 1953). (2010, October 20). Retrieved from

--Stephen Bessette, 2010

Marcel Odenbach