As if Memories Could Deceive Me

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.