From New York to Pittsburgh

1 — 15 February 2018


“I wonder why progress looks so much like destruction.”

John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America, 1962

Photographs exploring the traces left by Men around them to communicate, sell, inform, entertain… I surveyed the roads looking for details and marks of forgotten and abandoned landscapes around us. The subject matter of this work comes from street corners and forgotten roadsides: closed shops, disused buildings, empty places, signboards… Useful or not, these vestiges that we leave affect our territory and its landscape.

During a trip in the US in the summer of 2017, from New York to Pittsburgh, I walked the streets looking for contrasts and icons in the everyday life of this country: cars, religion, patriotism, advertising, entertainment, business… I wanted to confront present-day America, justaposed with the remnants of a used, outmoded and patched up past of America. This America with a big A, the one I fantasized about when I was a kid and a teenager. Not the Manhattan skyscapers nor the post-industrial districts, but what’s between, in the middle, in the heart of the country: the residential neighbourhoods.

There are “treasures” to capture around street corners almost everywhere, because Men have been there to leave traces of their journey. I’m not talking about architectural treasures that you can frame on postcards or in touristic guides. I’m talking about buildings and subjects that speak for what they are : marks of the past, our history being forgotten little by little every day. In our modern world, there are sometimes more stories to listen to in these neighbourhoods than anywhere else.



Born in Western France in 1984, Julien Hairault is a self-taught photographer. He also works as cultural coordinator with high school students, especially about movies.




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