Ein Tag am Meer (A Day at the Sea), 2012
Collage, watercolours, pencil and photocopy on paper 120 x 420 cm
© (Marcel Odenbach) VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2010
Photo: Vesko Gösel
Ein Tag am Meer shows a blue body of water, its rippling surface reflecting the light. A wide panoramic shot of the ideal blue sea of our imagination. As we look more closely, however, we realize that the waves are a mosaic composed of smaller images that document everything one might associate with the ocean and its constitutive element. Ships, fish, and fishermen, competitive swimmers, swimming camels. Among the elements making up the collage are snippets of text as well, such as passages from the Bible about the sea or quotations from Hans Blumenberg’s book Care Crosses the River. Not least importantly, we also sea the refugee boats with their desolate passengers. The work thus unfolds a grand typology of what the sea may stand for, of what lives in it and travels on it. Marcel Odenbach’s Ein Tag am Meer explores the ocean as a symbol of longing and a religious metaphor, as the site of a dangerous escape attempt or a fresh start full of hope: as a mirror of the world.