Travis Shaffer (°1983, Pennsylvania, United States) is an artist, a bookmaker, an educator, and a photographer—of sorts. Embedded in his practice is a curiosity about the ontology of photography. Specifically, this results in a particular interest in the visual and structural language of both vernacular photographs and those found within the broad spectrum of artisticf practice. As an extension of his interest in photographic communication and image function, Shaffer’s work deals heavily with the ‘use’ of the photographic image and relationships between image and text. Shaffer has produced a growing international record of research: including a recent solo exhibition at DEMO Projects; publication in Elephant and Photoworks magazines; participation in the 2014 Brighton Photo Biennial, inclusion in an MIT Press publication titled Various Small Books—the acting catalogue for a 2013 exhibition titled Ed Ruscha: Books & Co. which was exhibited at Gagosian Gallery—Uptown and Museum Brandhorst, and active membership in an international artists’ book cooperative [ABC].
Currently, Travis is based in Columbia, MO, where he is an Assistant Teaching Professor in Art at the University of Missouri.
“We thought we lived in a place that was almost untouchable,” he said. I knew otherwise. This place was not touched but haunted by an inescapable agent. A sleepy southwest Pennsylvania town. Post-Manufacturing. Post-Coal. Appalachian. Stigmatized. Shrinking. 17 years ago I left; certain I really saw you. Now, I come and I go. “… a place that was almost untouchable.” but he meant a place where change could be kept at bay. I see you now with clarity. I am your Nemesis; looking in from the outside.
To view more of Travis Shaffer’s work please visit his website.