It is not incidental what I think as an artist in creating my works. Much more interesting is what you see. What moves you? What do you feel? What do you see? What do you want to see?

Damaris Odenbach

Vita

*1977 in Bad Bergzabern (Germany)
Lives and works in Cologne (Germany)

Photography might still be the artistic medium with the highest claim to reality and authenticity.
We are easily tempted to trust the photographic image although we know that it only needs one mouse
click to create a completely new picture, or that what seems to be a snapshot can be an elaborate
studio production.

There is no reason for suspicion when you take just a quick glance at Damaris Odenbach’s
photographs. We see places. More precisely, abandoned and neglected, uninhabited and “used”
places which have something spooky and morbid to them. Prison cells, swimming pools, changing
rooms a bowling hall, or like in one of her recent photographs, a room with a massive freestanding
vault. All these places carry traces of human life that attract and repel us at the same time. These are
places that have been engrained in our collective memory. Not necessarily as a defined, specific
place, but more as a feeling and a memory of our childhood and teenage years or as a reminiscence
of movie scenes.

The viewer only becomes disturbed when taking a second glance at the picture: Isn’t the door much
too small for t he room? Isn’t the light falling in in an unusual way, aren’t the tiles a bit too crooked?
But the first thought that the pictures have been digitally altered is false. The photos are taken in a
digital not an analogue way but still as documentary photography. What we see is the real image!
However, in Damaris Odenbach’s works the image is not what we think it is because what appears to
be a huge factory building is in reality a cardboard box. A miniature model made from cardboard,
paint, and a bit of plaster to form fine nuances and structures. Only the photographic image turns the
three dimensional model into a flat picture and creates the illusion of seeing a real building. An
illusion that becomes even bigger by the enlargement during reproduction.

It is only consequent that the artist does not present the cardboard models in the context of the
exhibition. They are only tools and will be destroyed or reused after the picture has been
taken. Apart from the subtle irritation that guides our observation, simple titles like “model” and
increasing numbering show the process of origination, which shouldn’t be totally hidden but also not
in the center of the works. What we see are creations of our imagination, that move us, remind us,
concern us, that offer room for projections and associations. Damaris Odenbach’s artworks amount
to more than just a simple play with illusions.

                                                                                                         Sarah Waldschmitt, Art Museum Bonn

In a series of new works Odenbach creates “models” from slides. She deconstructs anonymous finds
from unknown photographers by cutting them up. Fragments are taken away and combined with
other slides. This way, documentary creations of the nonexistent, of the constructed and unreal take
place on the small surface of the slide (24 x 36mm). They only become visible when the slides are
enlarged to a picture – when the “model” turns into a real work.

Exhibitions

Klara Wallner Gallery, Berlin (Soloshow)

 

2004

Klara Waller Gallery, Berlin
(Soloshow) 


2005

Kunststiftung Starke, Berlin
(Groupshow)


2006

Kunstverein Celle
(Soloshow)


2007

NEOspektive, Hamburg
(Groupshow


2006

Kunstverein Celle
(Soloshow)


2007

Kunstverein Mannheim
(Groupshow)


2007

Gallery Pitrowski, Berlin
(Soloshow)


2007

Gallery Pitrowski, Berlin
(Soloshow)


2008

Zimmer frei, Bonn
(Groupshow)


2008

Zimmer frei, Bonn
(Groupshow)


Ostrale - Biennale for contemporary Art, Dresden (Groupshow)


2010

Ostrale - Biennale for contemporary Art, Eupen (Groupshow)


2010

Ostrale - Biennale for contemporary Art, Katowicz (Groupshow)


2010

Landesbank Baden-Württemberg
(Soloshow)


2012

Heinz-Martin Weigand Gallery

(Soloshow)


2013

RADIX 
Damaris Odenbach & Gabriele Lutterbeck, Frank-Loebsches-Haus, Landau


2013

Private Rooms, Cologne
(Groupshow)


2015

Club Speicher 7, Mannheim
(Soloshow)


2015 + 2017

Fivve Artspace, Cologne
(Soloshow)


2019

Awards/Fairs
Publications

Nominated for the G+J Photoaward


2008

Art Athens


2008

Art Forum, Berlin


2005

Visuelle Modelle, Reichle, Siegel, Spelten (Hg.) ISBN: 978-3-7705-4632-9
Der Blick ins Modell - Ein Gespräch mit Damaris Odenbach


2008

Art Palm Beach Fair, Miami


2020

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