Die Distanz zwischen mir und meinen Verlusten
(The Distance between Myself and My Losses), 1983
LCD monitor, headphones; 10:15 min
© (Marcel Odenbach) VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2010
The work presents an associative series of pictures, though extensive fade-to-black cuts do not allow the viewer to see more than fragments. Laid out as an artist’s self-portrait, the film touches upon the question of German identity. Loosely based on the case of a serial killer (Peter Kürten from Düsseldorf), the work addresses the fact that there are always perpetrators and victims. The video’s primary source of dramatic tension is its soundtrack, which features Schubert’s song Der Erlkönig, among other sources. On the visual level, an ostensibly idyllic scene with toys and a laughing baby contrasts with the depiction of violence manifest in paintings by Breughel and excerpts from war movies. Without suggesting an immediate connection between the individual pictures, Die Distanz zwischen mir und meinen Verlusten establishes causation, but the fragmented view of what the film represents at once exposes such coherency as constructed.