Der Widerspruch der Erinnerungen, Video-Stück

Marcel Odenbach’s Der Widerspruch der Erinnerungen, produced at the Studio Oppenheim and completed in 1982, quotes Peter Handke’s story Long Homecoming from 1979. When adapting from literature, Odenbach is just as predatory as he is with film and musical material, while the practice remains the collaging of elements. Quotes are often used repeatedly, for example Steve Reich’s electronic music is once again to be found in The Contradiction of Memories, now however combined with Vivaldi, J.J. Cale, and Torbusch. As for how the video is actually composed, the stringing together of already-existing and self-filmed images—here once again with a number of Hitchcock borrowings—is joined by a new technical ruse: A gradual fade-in of a black image, beginning from the upper edge, creates an effect that resembles that of a cinematic flashback. The resulting consequences for the dramaturgy and narrative strategy, merely hinted at in the title’s reference to “memory,” are immense and continue from this point on in the visual language of the videos and, in particular, the video installations of the 1980s. Odenbach has repeatedly emphasized the importance of The Contradiction for his work—it marks the threshold to a new development, and it is for this reason that Raymond Bellour has called it a “transitional work.”