Small A Projects is pleased to present Remnant World, a solo exhibition of new work by Will Rogan. This exhibition of photographs, works on paper, sculpture and video is Rogan’s solo debut in New York and his second solo exhibition at Small A Projects.
The camera — as the artist’s tool, as a physical object, and as a metaphor for mortality – is at the heart of these recent works. Aligned around a tension between absence and presence, Rogan seeks to identify the vanishing point that haunts the instantaneous present. As in earlier bodies of work, these pieces address a series of related, but tangential ideas expressed in different media.
In several works, visual information is obscured, diffused or omitted, complicating modes of perception and undermining conventions for image-making. One sculptural work depicts a model of our solar system, but lacks planet earth. In another, a dangling bulb emits an intense light refracted through a chaotic cluster of glass prisms; the orb resembles a glowing celestial body, a sloppy chandelier that is captivating but blinding. And in a small group of works on paper, magazine pages are manipulated until all information except an image of a camera is erased or concealed.
Humor, and in particular the humor of everyday idiosyncrasy, is central to Rogan’s work. The title of the exhibition, Remnant World, is drawn from a series of small black and white photographs — Other Worlds —that plainly depict overly specialized but generic stores that assert themselves as comprehensive outlets for the consumer or connoisseur. These shops (Smoker’s World, Vacuum World, Popcorn World, etc) offer inelegant declarations of wholeness and suspect grandiosity. As an index, Remnant World registers certain limitations: the fragmented nature of perception and the impossibility of omniscient experience. Literally, it refers to a black and white image of a place to buy cheap carpets.