Photographer Sean McFarland does wonderful things to San Francisco. He takes countless photos of particular settings -- from buildings, parks, and streetscapes to freeway overpasses -- cuts them up, and arranges them back into the recognizable by hand. Then he rephotographs the results, removing evidence of his handiwork. The results are surreal, like a dream you had before you moved here or an intoxicated, foggy walk home after you did, before familiarity arrived to deaden the senses. His delicate, hazy, nearly model-like scenes magically tweak what you know to be true. Hes part of a show championing the city, Let Us Now Praise San Francisco, curated by literary showman Robert Mailer Anderson. It features three photographers (Gregory Halpern and Whitney Hubbs join McFarland) and three writers, including gritty city chroniclers Peter Plate and Michelle Tea, whose short stories appear alongside the photographs in a book. And Anderson had everybody create new work, providing a portrait of the city thats barely a month old, a curatorial feat well worthy of its own praise.
July 12-Aug. 16, 2008