598 / Variable Piece #70 : 1971 (In Process) Global 1975

Artist: Douglas Huebler (American, 1924–1997)

Date: 1975

Medium: Gelatin silver prints and typescript

Dimensions: Frame: 94 × 94 cm (37 × 37 in.), each
Overall: 94 x 188 cm (37 x 74 in.)

Classification: Photographs

Credit Line: Purchase, Vital Projects Fund Inc. Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, and Stephen and Jennifer Rich Gift, 2012

Accession Number: 2012.32a, b

Rights and Reproduction: © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Not on view
Previously a Minimalist sculptor, Huebler in the late 1960s renounced the making of discrete objects, saying that “the world is more or less full of objects, more or less interesting. I do not wish to add any more. I prefer, simply, to state the existence of things in terms of time and place.” He then pioneered a radical new use of photography—anti-subjective, sequential, and not in the service of aesthetic perfect moments but rather a form of representation, like language, to be interrogated. His deadpan photographs were a new kind of “dematerialized” artwork, used in tandem with other forms of documentation such as maps, diagrams, and text. This work is part of a series predicated on the (fictive) premise of photographing “everyone alive.”
Inscription: Signed in pencil on typed and printed statement, recto BC: "Douglas Huebler"; printed text on statement, recto TC: "Variable Piece no. 70 (In Process) // Global // Throughout the remainder of the artist's lifetime he will photographically document, to the extent of his // capacity, the existence of everyone alive in order to produce the most authentic and inclusive representa- // tion of the human species that may be assembled in this manner. // Editions of this work will be periodiclally issued in a variety of topical modes: '100,000 people,' '1,000,000 // people,' '10,000,000 people,' 'people personally known by the artist,' 'look-alikes,' 'over-laps,' etc. // November 1971" "-Douglas Huebler"; typescript on statement, recto C: "598/Variable Piece #70, 1971 // As of this date, tens of thousands of people have been // photographed, in America, Europe, and Israel, for the // 'everyone alive' project: most often photographed in // the streets, few appear strongly individualized and most // appear as indeterminate and undifferentiated phenomena // situated somewhere within that grainy continuum normally // described as the 'background'. // From photographs like the two 8" x 10" examples seen nearby, // 160 faces have been individuated through a series of darkroom // procedures, each now having been transformed into a discrete // portrait. Selected from these 160 faces, nine have been // again enlarged to characterize an aspect of 'everyone alive': // AT LEAST ONE PERSON WHO HEARS NO EVIL // 1975 DOUGLAS HUEBLER"
Estate of Douglas Heubler; [Paula Cooper Gallery, New York]

Paula Cooper Gallery. "From the Observatory".

Holly Solomon Gallery. "Douglas Heubler".