Marcel Odenbach’s works on paper explore European history with references to its dark past and experiments with the myriad symbols and tales associated with Sigmund Freud’s famous psychoanalytic couch.
Odenbach’s collage hung in Freud’s last home in London alongside its subject, Freud’s original couch, one of the best known pieces of furniture in the world.
Marcel Odenbach works from a huge archive of historical images, mostly newspaper and magazine clipping as well as pages from history books. Before he starts a new collage with a specific theme, the selects appropriate images from the archive, Xeroxes them onto watercolor paper (toner ink and water color paper are archival) and dyes them in the needed colors. He then meticulously cuts out and pastes small collage elements onto an outlined paper support, ultimately forming the entirety of the image. It’s a dialectical method, the appealing large image versus the often rough truth in the details.
The collage of Freud’s couch addresses 19th and 20th century German and Jewish history, as well as the history of the Freud family.