Estar de Pie es no Caerse (Standing Is Not Falling), 1989
LCD monitor, headphones; 04:25 min
© (Marcel Odenbach) VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2010
At the very beginning of Estar de Pie es no Caerse, African chants and people clapping in the rhythm contrast with pictures of an execution in the open street. Odenbach combines black-and-white selections from television reports and newspaper photographs with individual staged scenes. Almost exactly halfway into the filmic narrative, we see the artist fall over towards the camera. As the title indicates, the film explores the twin concepts of standing and falling; the former is meant to be read here as an allegory of physical as well as political steadfastness. The found material is often superimposed on the picture proper, gradually building up a plethora of visual information that defies any attempt to decode it and is held together at best by associative connections. The viewer is confronted with a continuous flow of images that coalesce into isolated clusters of information and occasionally seem to illustrate historical trajectories in fast motion but, given the loss of causality, in the end impart a sense of unsettling emotion.