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Original Post Secret, without the post?

1970: Douglas Huebler asks museum visitors to write down 'one authentic secret'. The resulting 1800 documents are compiled into a book which, by some accounts, makes for very repetitive reading as most secrets are similar.

Douglas Huebler (October 27, 1924 – July 12, 1997) was an American conceptual artist. Huebler was initially aligned with the minimalist movement and was included in the seminal 1966 exhibit at the Jewish Museum in New York titled, "Primary Structures." Shortly thereafter, he made the famous statement, “The world is full of objects, more or less interesting; I do not wish to add any more.” He then started producing works in numerous media often involving documentary photography, maps and text to explore social environments and the effect of passing time on objects. For twenty years, he was dean of the California Institute of Arts.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 21st, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
Nice to have someone point this out. I think Frank Warren's Post Secrets
project is pretty derivative of Huebler's original art project whether he would
acknowledge it or not. It would be surprising if, as an artist, he were unaware
of this piece.

Huebler created this piece as an installation at a number of museum shows.
People would write a secret on a piece of paper and slide it through a slot
anonymously. From another slot, they would be given a xerox copy of
another person's secret (probably from a previous day.) Yes it is interesting
that so many secrets tend to sound so similar.

Huebler published a compilation as a book in the 1970's titled "Secrets".
Oct. 21st, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Huebler
Thanks for the reply! I think I like the intimacy of the slots, of the single photocopied secret. It makes it an exchange, a call and response, as opposed to the almost voyeurism of everyone's secrets up on a wall. It certainly takes away the secrecy, instead of making it a trading of confidences.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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