Father

Per Hüttner | 27.3–28.4.2002

As a four year old Per Hüttner and his family had a car accident. His father was badly injured and died in hospital a few weeks later. Hüttner was brought up by his single mother with his older sister.

During most of his grown-up life Hüttner has ignored the fact that this event and growing up without a father has affected him and his development as a person. Almost to the day 30 years after the fatal accident the artist produced a triptych video entitled 'Who's your Daddy? The video was the start for Hüttner's artistic and emotional investigations into the effects of the tragic event and a life without a father. The current exhibition is clearly a product of these investigations.

In the centre of the space Hüttner has created an enormous clay phallus, which rises from floor to ceiling. For the opening it looked potent, shiny and impressive. As the exhibition progressed the clay dried, withered and eventually dropped off.

Hüttner also showed the above mentioned video triptych 'Who's your Daddy? In the first video a body-builder 'substitutes' the father figure repeatedly and in slow-motion lovingly tosses the smiling artist up in the air. In the second video Hüttner is held by one arm and one leg as the same man spins him around repeatedly. At the end of the short sequence the 'father' loses control, drops him and exits the image frame and Hüttner is abandoned, left alone on the ground.

In the last of the three videos we see the artist in a more embarrassing situation. We see him with his pants pulled down as he is receiving a spanking by the same muscular man as in the two other videos. The ambiguityof the videos raise issues about sexual identity, but also about punishment and how we are clearly coloured by the domestic situation that we are brought up in – and then particularly in our relationships to our parents.

Per Hüttner is a swedish artist based in Paris.