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«The Great Misunderstanding»
At the Basle 'Kunstmarkt', which probably ranks with Cologne as the key international art fair, Marcel Odenbach for the first time addressed a wider public with an ironic performance which was also a persiflage on the newly fashionable Performance art-form. Posing as a variety artist performing conjuring tricks, he caricatures the artistic pathos and recycling character of art. The artist as fool, art as entertainment, art criticism in accordance with market values. Odenbach: 'In this performance I no longer wait for an audience reaction, but dictate it. Just as society forces me into this role, during this sequence I adhere to my hackneyed view of the vast majority of recipients. The monitor then offers the ”direct” confrontation with oneself and one's behaviour as consumer.' Holding up a mirror to the public by closed-circuit techniques might be seen as evidence that the audience, and not the art, is the attraction. And precisely that is 'The Great Misunderstanding'. Odenbach saw no contradiction in the fact that he formulated this critique with the assistance of the Galerie Stampa in Basle, an important promoter of media art both in Switzerland and the rest of Europe.