Mir hat es den Kopf verdreht (It Turned My Head), 1995/1996
2 video projectors, 4 speakers; 05:08 min
© (Marcel Odenbach) VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2010
© photo: David Williams
The work consists of two video projections abutting in a corner between two walls; they present different pictures but may be viewed simultaneously. Almost all shots show rotating movements: Sufi dervishes slowly gyrating, merry-go-rounds at a fun fair, children riding a playground carousel. The artist Marcel Odenbach himself appears in the video work as well. It begins with a spotlight slowly circling his eyes; later on, he turns around his own axis, moving the camera in circles. This shift of perspective defines large segments of Mir hat es den Kopf verdreht: pictures taken from a camera trained on rotating objects are matched, in the other projection, with shots in which the camera itself participates in such rotation. The contrast corresponds to that between two utterly different constellations of the gaze: that of the passive spectator watching an action from the outside, and that of the active spectator involved in an action. A scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s feature film Strangers on a Train in which a merry-go-round flies apart while turning at full speed disrupts this constant alternation of perspectives, but does not lead to a synthesis of the two positions or a resolution in favour of either one of them.