As part of our ongoing partnership with Art Practical, today we bring you a review of Will Rogan’s solo exhibition Stay Home, at Altman Siegel, in San Francisco. Until the site’s relaunch in September, Art Practical is producing guest-edited issues featuring seminal reviews that have shaped the way we think about art in the Bay Area over the last four years; this week guest editor Zachary Royer Scholz selected this review because it “sketch[es] some of the unique methodologies and conceptual frameworks that I feel underpin the West Coast’s—and particularly San Francisco’s—artistic production.” This review was written by Patricia Maloney and originally published October 2010.
Stay Home, Will Rogan’s current exhibition at Altman Siegel Gallery, tantalizingly suggests the balance that sometimes must be struck between visual information and conceptual intent. The gelatin silver prints and small sculptures on view examine loss and obsolescence and the futile attempt to stem off either over time. They create a careful correspondence between photography’s presumed capacity to preserve and a magician’s feigned control over the material world—his ability to make an object disappear at will. The exhibition itself is an exercise in illusion—a reverse sleight of hand in which we are presented with absence and must conjure what is missing.