Our lives unfold in what photographer Patrick O’Hare describes as an “increasingly sterile terrain”—plaza malls and fast-food drive-throughs, blanketed with dirty snow and framed by industry. Confronting this reality, O’Hare captures the familiar roadside gas stations, rain-drenched construction sites, suburban hydro towers and deserted parking lots that comprise—or compromise—our modern landscape.
Less environmental lament than acquiescence in the unseemly, the pieces from “The Silence Between Stations” simply showcase a strangely beautiful world that blurs past car windows and is easily forgotten. Each photograph (taken over a five-year span in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Virginia) reminds us of the delicate interplay between land, sky and man. Puddles in cement, birds in flight and fresh tire tracks in a field serve as juxtapositions between the things that both sustain and overwhelm us. Faced with our “unquestioning embrace of technology and longstanding spiritual loneliness,” O’Hare searches for “slivers of redemption” in the everyday, aiming to capture the places “where mystery still resides and the ruins of civilization still haunt us.”
Though people are noticeably absent from the photographs, the images illuminate the brutal yet tender world we occupy and the spaces we would rather forget. We are represented instead through built structures, motor vehicles, quaint rows of suburban homes and the eerie calm of silence that inhabits places which have outlasted their function.