Schneewittchen (Snow White), 2010
Collage on paper, 170 x 131 cm
Photo: The photographer would like to remain anonymous
© (Marcel Odenbach) VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2010
Courtesy Anton Kern Gallery, New York
This work borrows its title from a fairy tale recorded by the Brothers Grimm, in which the evil queen, disguised as a peddler, offers objects to Snow White that are supposed to cause her death. One of them lets her achieve her goal: the red and poisoned half of an apple. Snow White falls for the seductive offer and takes a bite of the apple. In this work as in the fairy tale, the apple as such is a symbol of seduction. Each individual apple, meanwhile, is a collage of images from a wide range of sources that illuminates a specific aspect of seduction. One apple is dedicated to politics as an instrument of seduction; another, to the world’s religions; a third, to sexuality; and a fourth, to the idols of our media society. Only one apple contains a very personal component. The artist shows us the Jewish branch of his family, which bore the apple (in German: Apfel ) in its name. An apple, that is to say, is not just a symbol of seduction, but also an emblem of ancestry, and never falls far from the tree.