Construct is a series of interventions on physical photographic prints. Through shredding, cutting, tearing, folding, crumpling, and other acts, Chris Shepherd rearranges and reconfigures photographic prints into sculptural forms. These new objects are then rephotographed, and the journey—from taking to making and back to taking—allows the viewer to re-evaluate the conventional language of photography. Memory, nostalgia, documentation, and other established tropes of the medium become secondary to the form and object, opening a dialogue about what photography is and means.
Shepherd’s artistic practice to date has focused on large-scale photographic prints. Underpinning that work has always been an overriding interest and affection for the painting and sculpture of the geometric abstractionists of the 1960s and the contemporary and conceptual artists of today and the last fifty years. Construct is a conscious effort by the artist to move from “taking” pictures to “making” pictures within this frame of reference. The work in this series uses either existing artist proofs from Shepherd’s studio or newly photographed pieces specifically taken and printed to work with the new processes of manipulation. These processes deliberately avoid technology, opting instead for mundane and repetitive physical actions. This also adds an archaic, durational aspect to the work that is simultaneously uncomfortable and meditative.