A review of the exhibition Where the Ranch Actually Was by Jake Margolin and Nick Vaughan at Devin Borden Gallery:
For this particular exhibition, the artists present the fruits of their labor, at least thus far, in Texas. A part of their research is gaining the colloquial knowledge of the local community, seeking out folkloric and actual tales of the sites deemed historic for the LGBT communities that are otherwise buried – sometimes literally as these spaces are shut down, torn down, gentrified. The artists visited these sites, photographing what currently stands, at times witnessing the destruction in real time.
Vaughan and Margolin overlay their images, depicting the current actuality of these spaces, on a series of Texas maps. “Overlay” seems like the wrong word for this particular practice, though. It implies addition, or collage. In reality, the artists have carefully excised parts of the map to recreate their photographs. It is a labor-intensive process that requires great attention and a slow, steady hand. At times, they leave behind little more than the Texas highways, a vein-y network of lines evocative of that classic chorus “deep in the heart of Texas.”