Douglas Huebler

I looked at the work of Douglas Huebler when reviewing feedback on Context and Narrative assignment 3. Here, it is briefly revisited in the context of portraiture.


An explanation of the work is in the blog post referenced. In summary Huebler used portraits of Bernd Becher, a leading exponent of typology in photography who drew inspiration from August Sander, to ‘void’ the application of typology to portraiture.

Huebler took a series of portraits of Becher acting different roles, without explaining the end game.

A month later he asked Becher to pair the portraits with the roles he was asked to act out; he failed to match them accurately. Huebler went on to emphasise his point when the work was exhibited by mismatching the portraits and roles, as if to reinforce his view that the concept was invalid.

What does this mean for the concept of typology? Perhaps that while it is easily understood as a concept, there may be practical difficulties in its application and in attaining a consistent reading between different viewers.

Huebler’s work will be revisited in detail in part 4 of the I&P course.


Fitzgibbon A (2016). Context & Narrative [blog]. Douglas Huebler and the Voiding of Photographic Portraiture. Available from: [accessed 11.7.16]

Hughes G (2007). Game Face: Douglas Huebler and the Voiding of Photographic Portraiture. Source: Art Journal, Vol. 66, No. 4 (Winter, 2007), pp. 52-69. College Art Association. Available from: [accessed 11.7.16]

Leave a Reply