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Marcel Odenbach «I Think I Have Lost Myself»
Marcel Odenbach, «I Think I Have Lost Myself», 1978
Photograph: Michael Trier/Marcel Odenbach | ©

 Marcel Odenbach
«I Think I Have Lost Myself»

The performance runs concurrently with an exhibition showing my self-portraits along with hackneyed notions about my personality. At the exhibition opening, I sit behind a window in the gallery, isolated, watching through the glass the goings-on. Only my head, over which I have pulled a black hood, is visible. I pull this black mask over my face as a symbol of my anonymity, a signal that my personality no longer exists, or exists only in the exhibition – by virtue of the notions others have of me – about me – by virtue of expectations, roles – I am like this and like that – must be so – behave wrongly in that regard – look like that – in other words, the person Marcel Odenbach, as created, seen by others, the person I apparently am. Those clichés by which those around me think they know me! My 'real' personality is not seen objectively; this thinking in clichés can lead to a point at which I no longer know what I think I’m like as a person. And when that point comes, then I’ve been made by the others, react in the expected fashion, my apparent personality runs along the prescribed lines – and that's why I have lost myself!


Marcel Odenbach