Travis Jeppesen is an American writer and artist.
Jeppesen’s first novel, Victims, was selected by Dennis Cooper to debut his Little House on the Bowery series for Akashic Books in 2003; a Russian translation of the novel was published in 2005 by Eksmo. Jeppesen’s second novel, Wolf at the Door (Twisted Spoon Press), was completed during a residency at the Slovenian Writers’ Association in Ljubljana, and appeared in 2007. In 2006, BLATT Books published a collection of poetry, Poems I Wrote While Watching TV; a second collection, Dicklung & Others, appeared in November 2009. Jeppesen’s third novel, The Suiciders, was published by Semiotext(e) in 2013; subsequently, he performed “marathon readings” of the entire novel, lasting eight hours without pause, at the ICA in London and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
In 2008, his play Daddy premiered at the HAU Theater in Berlin, under the direction of Ron Athey. A riffing on the Lolita myth, the play explores what happens when an 11-year-old boy impregnates his school teacher. Simultaneously, the boy's mother becomes involved with a local UFO cult. In Jeppesen's words, "The 'daddy' of the title is an 11-year-old boy, who, fatherless, becomes a father himself – and then, by a certain turn of events, doesn’t. The other father, I suppose, is Preacher Creacher, the leader of the cult, who instills himself as a fake father over others – yet his sincerity is ambivalent throughout. So the figure of the father goes through many cycles of presence and absence throughout the course of the play. In this sense, I’d say it’s quite productive – we’re gonna make a lot more daddies than we are babies."
Jeppesen's critical writings on art, film, and literature have appeared in Artforum, Art in America, Texte zur Kunst, Flash Art, New York Press, Bookforum, The Stranger, and Zoo Magazine. He is the recipient of a 2013 Arts Writers Grant from Creative Capital/the Warhol Foundation. A collection of his art criticism, Disorientations, was published in 2008; subsequently, Jeppesen launched disorientations.com, a "one-man art magazine." In October 2011, Jeppesen announced that he would be shifting the focus of the website to explore his notion of object-oriented writing, "a new form – neither poetic nor art-critical, yet retaining characteristics of both – that attempts to inhabit the object. That is, a writing that positions itself within the work of art, and also including all the necessary contradictions and impossibilities embedded within such an approach." Object-oriented writing could be thought of as a parallel creative practice to object-oriented ontology. As of 2013, Disorientations also includes links to Jeppesen's published art reviews and essays online, as well as miscellaneous poetry, fiction, and essays he has written, much of it previously only available in print form.
In 2014, his object-oriented writing was featured in the Whitney Biennial and in a solo exhibition at Wilkinson Gallery in London. A collection of novellas, All Fall, was published by Publication Studio.
He has taught as a visiting tutor in the art department at Goldsmiths University and as a visiting lecturer in Critical Writing in Art and Design at the Royal College of Art, where he is currently completing his PhD.
Travis Jeppesen is represented by Wilkinson Gallery, London.
- Victims (2003; new edition forthcoming from ITNA Press in 2014)
- Wolf at the Door (2007)
- The Suiciders (2013)
- All Fall: Two Novellas (2014)
- Poems I Wrote While Watching TV (2006)
- Dicklung & Others (2009)
- Disorientations: Art on the Margins of the Contemporary (2008)
- 16 Sculptures (2014)
- Travis Jeppesen: 16 Sculptures (Wilkinson Gallery, London, 2014)
- Down Where Changed (Cubitt, London, 2014-2015)
- Cucumber Bones (Toves, Copenhagen, 2014)
- Whitney Biennial (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2014)
- House Style (Tramway, Glasgow, 2013)