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<ul><li><p>JOIN OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER Join ABOUT US ADVERTISE CONTACT US RSS</p><p> Go</p><p>SOUND &amp; THE FURY LOCAL MUSIC 2010 RAMMY WINNERS 2009 RAMMY WINNERS MIXX TAPE SOUND &amp; THE FURY BLOG</p><p>LAURA MCPHEE</p><p>Rocks from Sawtooth Forest for Landscaping in Sun Valley,Pettit Lake Road, Blaine County, Idaho, 2003</p><p>LAURA MCPHEE</p><p>Snowmobile Headlights, Valley Road, Custer County, Idaho,2004</p><p>ARTS &amp; CULTURE</p><p>McPhee exposes natures human interface</p><p>By Scott AndrewsPUBLISHED: SEPTEMBER 14, 2011</p><p>Of the many photography shows in Fotoseptiembrethis year, one of the most compelling is LauraMcPhees River of No Return on view atSouthwest School of Art. A visit to the schoolsNavarro Campus galleries will show you why thisexhibition of landscape photography set attendancerecords when it showed at Bostons Museum of FineArts. The color photographs, 6-by-8-foot C-prints,are ginormous, and so is Idahos Sawtooth Valley,the desolate location they document.</p><p>The Nez Perce called the Salmon River that flowsthrough Idaho The River of No Return becausethe waters rapid current made it easy to get down,but almost impossible to get back up. When McPheelugged her heavy Deardorff 8-by-10-inch viewfindercamera across the valleys rough terrain, she musthave felt at times that she was on an upstreamjourney, weighted down as she was with antiquegear. Built in the 1950s, her camera is similar tothose used by famed landscape photographer AnselAdams, but McPhee uses it to strikingly differenteffect. Adams (and his many imitators) portrayedlandscape as untouched wilderness, not a human insight. Though his stupendous scenes are impressive,their pristine perfection has led some detractors todelegate the style as nature porn.</p><p>In contrast McPhees photos, like updated HudsonRiver School paintings, celebrate the pastoralrelation of man and nature. But the world on viewhere is not backward looking; this is powerful artwithout nostalgia. If it belongs to a movement, call itrural contemporary.</p><p>The works are highly formal, sometimes verging on</p><p> AUG | SEP | OCT Date selected</p><p>14Showing events</p><p>from:September 14.Click for more.</p><p>FOTOSEPTIEMBRE: Annette Landry:"People on Porches"</p><p>FOTOSEPTIEMBRE: A PhotographicSurvey &amp; Selected Works From TheRegionFeaturing Luther Smith, Jeremiah Ariz, TatyanaBessmertnaya, Andy Bloxham, Tricia Buchhorn, DoughClark, Neal Cox, Dornith Doherty, Bryan Florentin,Diane Fox, Steffani Frideres, Frank Hamrick, Dick Lane,Dominic Lippillo, Diane Durant, McGurren, SarahCusinam Miles, Kendra North, Vesna Pavolic, MichaelPeven, Libby Rowe, Kent Rush, Trish Simonite, DanaStatton, Christopher Talbot, Liz Murphey Thomas,Teresa Van Hatten-Granath, Brook C. White, BetsyWilliamson, &amp; others.</p><p>FOTOSEPTIEMBRE: Dita Kubin:"LookShe: Underneath Skin IntimateExplorations of Self-Image and TheRelationship To Self"</p><p>!/image/963998962.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_650/963998962.jpg!/image/889820531.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_650/889820531.jpg</p></li><li><p>Like</p><p>Add New Comment</p><p>LAURA MCPHEE</p><p>Irrigator's Tarp Directing Water, Fourth of July Creek, CusterCounty, Idaho, 2004</p><p>LAURA MCPHEE</p><p>Aspens Carved by Sheep Herders, Fisher Creek, White CloudMountains, Idaho, Summer Solstice, 2003</p><p>the abstract. But these are not just visual exercises.Human presence is always seen in the photograph,sometimes revealed cryptically. Two images in thehallway outside the galleries are paired, matching adiagonal right-to-left movement in each work. Thephoto on the left pictures a dark snow-filled night,the wood poles of a barbed wire fence eerily lit byyellow light. The title, Snowmobile Headlights,Valley Road, Custer County, Idaho, 2004, revealsthe hidden light source. In the companion pieceOne Car Passing, Valley Road, Sawtooth Valley,Idaho, 2003 a line of floating dust hides the vehiclethat made it, and the road as well.</p><p>There is also smoke, and fire as well. This is forestfire territory. Smoke billows like low-flyingcumulous clouds in one photograph; in another itplays hide-and-seek with the viewer, a small plumebarely noticeable above distant mountain ridges.Small flames, like errant campfires, shine up fromthe forest floor in a dark copse of woods that seemslit by magic, beams of light pass through greenbranches merging downcast light with smoke fromthe burn. But mans presence in the mountainsdoesnt always lead to destruction; the fires maywell have been caused by lightening, but thephotographers arrival to the scene is joined byfirefighters.</p><p>One of the most striking photographs in the show isan image of green pastures under dark stormclouds, lines of craggy purple mountains deepen thescene, which is wonderfully balanced by anotherblue mass a plastic tarp in the foreground. Thereason for its casual presence is unknown, but itseems to illuminate the nearby white flowers,completing the composition.</p><p>How do people live in this almost empty, but notquite, terrain? Gold and silver mining disrupted the</p><p>lifeways of the Nez Perce and Shosone when prospectors arrived in 1857. Themines played out shortly after the strike at Custer Mill in 1879, but ranchingcontinues. In one of the few photographs with figures, a man stands in front of atruck that seems to have been airlifted onto a mountain top; a woman smilesdown at him from the cab. Signs of ranching are also seen in what seems at first asa typical woodland scene of birch trees. Closer inspection, however, reveals namesand dates cut in the bark, graffiti in the wild, marking territory like its urbanvariants.</p><p>Plans for schools from rural parts of Texas to visit the exhibition are in the works.I hope theyre successful. This is a too-rare opportunity for farm kids to see anaesthetic vision that respects and understands their world. </p><p>River of No ReturnFree 9am-5pm Mon-Sat, 11am-4pm Sun Southwest School of Art Navarro Campus 300 Augusta St (210) 224-1848 On view through November 20</p><p>&gt; Email Scott Andrews</p><p>Anniversary of San Antonio's great flood of1921 passes with little notice On September9-10, 1921, San Antonio went under water. |9/13/2011After decades of neglect, could San Antoniobecome a live-music capital again? Pick aday. Any day. Check out what bands arecoming to, say, Austin. Then look to see whatother cities theyll be visiting. | 9/7/2011Do private prisons save money? Private-prison detractors have long accused businessesin the incarceration-for-profit game of cuttingcorners to boost revenue. | 9/7/2011Area 31 traffics in high gloss and creativelymanicured beards Heres an idea for a stupiddating show | 9/7/2011The Lion King 3D My 3-year-old godson Leo(yes, how very fitting) jumps around the movietheater and munches on a cookie as he awaitsthe start of The Lion King 3D. | 9/14/2011St. Vincent: Strange Mercy St. Vincent:Strange Mercy | 9/12/2011Alamo City gains international fame forpoverty We learned recently that SA is gettingsome international attention. | 8/31/2011</p><p>Melba N It's spelled "shilling," for Christ's sake.</p><p>Members allege the American GI Forum hasbeen schilling for Boeing,Big Oil andAT&amp;T 6 minutes ago</p><p>intrance454 This Weeks QueQue +95</p><p>The Apoca-List 1 hour ago</p><p>SultanCafeFoodisA-MAZING Tasting garlic,curry, and cumin, we asked what went into themarinade. 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