Rainer Oldendorf

Rainer Oldendorf, Lost in Prevelakis Hall, Polytechnion, Athens (2016), whiteboard marker on paper, 100 × 70 cm, courtesy Rainer Oldendorf and Erna Hecey Gallery, Luxembourg

Rainer Oldendorf, marco14 and CIAM4 / Shipwreck with Spectator, 2017, installation view, Polytechnion, Athens, documenta 14, photo: Angelos Giotopoulos

Rainer Oldendorf, marco14 und CIAM4 / Schiffbruch mit Zuschauer, 2017, installation view, Kunsthochschule Kassel, Kassel, documenta 14, photo: Mathias Völzke

Like a writer who places epigraphs at the beginning of his text—other voices—to give rise to an idea of the work as a whole, please find enclosed some elements and conditions for the work in production marco14 and CIAM4 /Shipwreck with Spectator:

In every culture, what escapes the exertion of the concept—the perspective on the whole of reality, the world, life, and history—is handed over to long-term work on images. The imaginative orientation achieved is condensed, transformed, and elaborated in great metaphors and comparisons. One of the ever-present models is that of life as a sea voyage. It encompasses the voyage out and the voyage home, the harbor and the foreign shore, anchorage and sailing the seas, storm and calm, distress at sea and shipwreck, barely surviving and merely looking on. This metaphor provides the outline of a whole composed of many conditions and possibilities; it also sets the limit of what is nearly impossible, which will, in the best of cases, be recounted as a sailor’s yarn.1

The Film Society presents / DIARY L.MOHOLY-NAGY presents his FILM /TAGEBUCH. DIARY. JOURNAL L.MOHOLY-NAGY zeigt sein presents his présente son FILM / ARCHITECTS’ CONGRESS / Marseille. / President van Eesteren [Amsterdam] / Le Corbusier [Paris] / Sert [Barcelona] / Moser [Zürich] / Secretary-general Dr. Giedion [Zürich] / Bodoni [Milan] / Caricature portrait composed of bedroom furniture. / Isthmus of Corinth. / Arrival of the Greek delegates. / Piraeus. / Athens. / The Acropolis. / The Temple of Zeus. / New reservoir at Marathon which supplies water to Athens. / Official opening of the Congress. / The Acropolis floodlit in honour of the Congress. / Cruise to the Greek Islands. / Aegina. / Seriphos. / Santorin. / Ios. / The return voyage. / The weather is hot enough for many to spend the night on deck. / Marseille again. / THE END 2

When it comes down to it, you  are all alone, and yet you are  like a conspiracy of criminals. You are no longer an author, you are a production studio, you have never been more populated.3

marco is a picaresque film, a fictional portrait developed in parts since 1995, relating different sculptural forms, the last of which was marco 13, realized as part of the Soleil politique exhibition in Bolzano, Italy. The film tells the story of Paul since his engagement in left-wing politics during the 1970s—incorporating the site and circumstances of the film’s production. Paul is played by Marco Gallo, the friend of Rainer Oldendorf (born in 1961) since his teenage years spent in Lörrach, southwest Germany, and whose first name gave the film its title. He is a polyglot and a catalyst bringing together people of different origins. marco 14 takes place during a seminar connecting Athens and Kassel in 2017.

—Pierre Bal-Blanc

1 Hans Blumenberg, Shipwreck with Spectator: Paradigm of a Metaphor for Existence, trans. Steven Rendall (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997), p. 1. In the English introduction, Steven Rendall writes, “The [author’s] notice printed in the first German edition of Shipwreck with Spectator [1979] offers a good place to start.”

2 Intertitles from László Moholy-Nagy, Architects’ Congress (1933), 35 mm film, black-and-white, 32 min. Film produced on the occasion of CIAM 4 (Congrès internationaux d’architecture moderne) that took place in 1933 on the SS Patris bound for Athens, departing from Marseilles.

3 Gilles Deleuze quoted in Dean Inkster, “Mimesis, Portraiture, and the Errancy of Being-in-Common: Responding to Art as Political Allegory,” in R.O., exh. cat., Frac Champagne-Ardenne (Reims, 1999). Translation from Deleuze and Claire Parnet, Dialogues II, rev. ed., trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007), p. 9.

Posted in Public Exhibition
Excerpted from the documenta 14: Daybook


by Rainer Oldendorf

marco 14, the latest episode of picaresque film marco, developed in parts since 1995 by Rainer Oldendorf will be shown in Athens with the presence of the artist.

marco14 is an element of marco14 and CIAM4…