32”W x 40”H x 2.5”D | Salvaged Materials and Acrylic | 2004
Stream-of-consciousness text is the motivation for the Diary Series, where Huether pairs compact assemblages of found objects with large-scale sheets of etched glass bearing lines of journal-like entries, written in pencil. Particularly striking is Shut Your Mouth, in which a Plexiglas box containing a slab of rusty padlocks is overlaid with of photo of the artist’s lips. The neatly printed text reads “shut your mouth,” “keep it shut,” “halt dein mund zu,” “shut it all the way,” etc. Once again Huether is combining opposite qualities – animate and inanimate, intimate and impersonal; the proximity of the rusty locks to Huether’s lips gives the work a particular kind of edginess. Huether also suggests the dual nature of his identity. Another work, Faces, features a box packed with layers of torn photos – random images of people: a Korean family celebration; a curly-haired man clutching a dog bone between his teeth; innumerable smiling young women. We may wonder, fruitlessly, who these anonymous faces are, what story these pictures might tell us; the accompanying text muses on the origin of these photos whose “owners have vacated, moved on – moved gone.
No one left, no one there to receive, to accept, to embrace the warm emotion to be gotten from gazing into a familiar face.” Wired presents a metaphor for the tangled state in which we may often find our psyches. Thin, plastic-coated wire in green, yellow, and chewing-gum red is coiled over a square of mirror. Here the words describe a state of mind: “There was this man, a man who had his head all wired up into a tangled bundle…This confusion pained him constantly, pained him incessantly, despite, or maybe because of this pain he began to see great beauty and value in this painful struggle.” The idea of overcoming personal and societal obstacles to create a better, less convoluted world is an inspirational theme which resurfaces throughout Huether’s work.