UN JOUR DE BEAUTE – THE NUNNERY, BOW, LONDON
This juried two man exhibition was located at The Nunnery in East London during September and October 2007. The installation comprised video, text, architectural models and photographic work by Shepley. Dutton showed three video works, one vinyl graphic piece and one photographic piece.
This exhibition, curated by Shepley, articulated research into the functions of ruin and slippage, provisionality and fragmentation, disruption and disturbance in installation art practice: of ruination as a practice and art form and of un-framing, rupture and ruin as processes of renewal. The rupture of the frame or the ‘un-framing’ associated with the installation aimed to further a shift in the ‘fixity’ of the relationship between artwork, location and viewer.
The installation ‘disturbed’ the viewing space of the gallery and studio, and reveal the art work in its most ‘honest’ situation: as fragments within a wider universe of fragments – a ‘studio without walls’. The shift in the framing of art from ‘whole’ to ‘fragmented’ has its implications for the viewer: the relationship between the viewer, the artwork and the location would now be unfixed – an event in time (Kwon, M. 2002). The work attempted to fragment the perceived expectation of engagement with a fixed notion of art or a one-for-one interpretation of the artefact, in a sense ‘ruin’ this process of engagement, or at least disrupt it. Shepley’s works attempt to draw a parallel between the ruin in the realm of things and the allegory in the realm of thoughts in the sense that both ruin and allegory speak of a disruption in the relationship between form and meaning (Benjamin, W. 1999). The exhibition, part of a Research Fellowship awarded to Shepley in July 2007, was accompanied by a publication, authored by Shepley, and paper which place his installations within a critical and contextual framework.