…but the steady renegotiation of small realities – 2010


This peer reviewed exhibition accompanied by a publication and gallery discussion at the Vanguard Gallery, in the Moganshan District of Shanghai, forms part of Shepley’s ongoing research investigation around the ruin as a trope of reflexivity interrogating its own becoming. This project signaled a deepening interest in Shepley’s research into issues of fragmentation, the nomadic studio, the paused project and whether the work itself or project is in a state of ruin. These themes were elaborated upon having been invited to present at ‘Sensuous Knowledge 5’, Bergen, September 2008.

Normally Vanguard only shows Asian and Chinese artists but their curatorial policy allowed for one invited show per year from a selected European artist and the gallery were particularly interested in the provisional and performed nature of the work, the idea of the artist occupying fictional selves and the use of the gallery as a form of walk in sketchbook.

For example, two video sketches shot in evening light, each offering documentation of individuals visiting recycling centres in an institutionalised process to impose some form of order on the chaos of everyday life. Another element of the project offered 375 photographs of places where fly tippers ‘operate’ and a partially complete wall-grid of 50 glass-etched line drawings depicted as many small piles of debris as shadows on the wall and resonated with the pile of debris in a tableau opposite all operating as pages in a sketchbook.

The propositional aspect of the work resulted in Shepley’s inclusion in the group show ‘The Moment of Privacy has Passed’ which examined embryonic aspects of the creative process through the use of sketchbooks by artists (including Shepley) from the UK, Europe and the USA.