Artwork Details

  • Artist Marcel Odenbach
  • Title Männergeschichten
  • Date 2003
  • Medium 2-channel video installation
  • Duration 10 minutes 9 seconds
Männergeschichten Image


In Männergeschichten, or Male Stories, a man sits for a shave in a Turkish barbershop. A caged bird chirps and local music plays in the background. The man in the chair drifts off, and the video follows him into a dream sequence featuring battles set in an ancient time. It reverts back to a close-up of the razor scraping noisily and ominously against the man’s neck, threatening the bond of trust between the barber and his customer.

Marcel Odenbach’s video installation investigates rituals of maleness and reflects on pride, vanity and personal freedom. The video explores how an individual can become imprisoned within his or her own cultural values, and examines the struggle against oppression, practices of ‘othering’ and the ritualisation of heritage and tradition.

For Odenbach, our identities are constructed from a combination or interaction between what we see around us and how we imagine ourselves to be seen. In his work, he attempts to draw attention to the ways in which subjectivity is cultivated in the context of personal and collective memory, history and psychology.



Odenbach, Marcel

His work critically examines subject formation in the context of socio-cultural norms and historical specificities.