Photographer Catherine Wagner’s interest in permanence and impermanence, knowledge and its production are the driving forces behind an expansive body of work. Archæology in Reverse, her latest project and one that marks confident steps into collaborative and multimedia endeavors, invites viewers to consider a familiar space from unfamiliar points of view.

“Archaeology in reverse” is Wagner’s elegant description of understanding the built environment as the manifest human desire for permanence, or immortality, that is always thwarted. This branch of her rigorous, research-based practice began in the 1970s with the series Early California Landscapes and continued as she documented the construction of the George R. Moscone Convention Center from 1978 to...

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