Documents of Endless Impossibilities
Institute Library Display
30th March 2013 - 30th June 2013
The Henry Moore Institute Research Library
Selected from the Research Library's Special Collections, this display focuses on the American artist Douglas Huebler (1924-97). The idea of ‘chance' runs throughout Huebler's artistic practice, be that in the form of chaos, disorder or uncertainty.
The majority of the works represented here function as statements implying a contractual arrangement with either the viewer or a prospective buyer. In many cases, photographs or other documents are offered as a way of ‘proving' that the contractual obligation - whether photographing drivers at traffic lights or collecting strangers' secrets anonymously - has been carried out. The result is a collection of unverifiable documents claiming to bear witness to absurd and unpredictable events in a tongue-in-cheek questioning of our faith in the document.
In ‘Location Piece #2' Huebler instructed two people in different cities to photograph places they felt could be described as being ‘frightening', ‘erotic', ‘transcendent', ‘passive', ‘fevered', and ‘muffled'. The artist then randomly selected twelve photos from the twenty-four he received and to these, four more were added that had not been intended to characterise anything in particular. These sixteen photographs, a textual description of the project and two small maps form the document of the work which operates as an invitation to partake in an unwinnable game of chance as we are left with the impossible task of deciphering the photographs according to the information provided.
This display has been developed by Jessica Gough during her Henry Moore Institute internship. Jessica is currently studying MA History of Art at The University of Leeds.