Support the Whitney
Become a founding member today.Join now
In addition to his work as a novelist, art critic, and poet, Travis Jeppesen has developed what he terms “object-oriented writing”—writing that enacts a subjective, embodied encounter with and response to art objects. Jeppesen’s texts treat objects as inhabitable. By positioning his own voice within the object, he counters nearly all forms of critical analysis that assume a distance from objects in order to speak about them; as he observes, “Something that is located within an object can never be ‘about’ that object—aboutness is always external.”
Here Jeppesen invites visitors to put on a pair of blacked-out sunglasses and listen to recordings of five of his object-oriented re-creations of sculptures from the series 16 Sculptures. Depriving us of our usual faculties for experiencing works of art—sight and visuospatial reasoning—Jeppesen’s work stages encounters with objects through language that nonetheless retain the texture of embodied, physical experience, proposing an imaginative realm in which he attempts to summon the autonomous essences and interior lives of objects themselves.
On the occasion of the Biennial, Jeppesen has published a book of his texts for 16 Sculptures; a marathon reading of his novel The Suiciders (2013), published by Semiotext(e), will be held at the Museum on May 9.
Travis Jeppesen’s work is on view in the Museum’s third floor galleries.
Readings from Travis Jeppesen’s book, 16 Sculptures, comprise the audio component of his work for the 2014 Biennial. The book’s preface, available for download, provides insight into Jeppesen’s project of object-oriented writing. Copies of 16 Sculptures are available for purchase at the Museum Shop and online.Download Preface
Academy Records and Matt Hanner
Ei Arakawa and Carissa Rodriguez
Robert Ashley and Alex Waterman
Lisa Anne Auerbach
Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Véréna
Paravel, and Sensory Ethnography Lab
Critical Practices Inc.
Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst
Radamés “Juni” Figueroa
Gaylen Gerber with David Hammons,
Sherrie Levine, and Trevor Shimizu
Tony Greene curated by Richard
Hawkins and Catherine Opie
Yve Laris Cohen
My Barbarian (Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon
and Alexandro Segade)
Sara Greenberger Rafferty
Steve Reinke with Jessie Mott
Valerie Snobeck and Catherine Sullivan
Charline von Heyl
David Foster Wallace