Gilad Ophir | Israel

Untitled, 2006

150x150 cm

Courtesy of the Artist

This piece is part of a series of fields photographs taken by Gilad Ophir in winter 2006 in the northern Negev. The emptiness engulfing the place brings to mind scenarios of the end of civilization, of a world that what remained from it are faint remnants of life which once were. Such a scenario is the central theme of Cormac McCarthy’s novel "The Road":

"On the far side of the river valley the road passed through a stark black burn. Charred and limbless trunks of trees stretching away on every side.

Ash moving over the road and the sagging hands of blind wire strung from the black-ended lightpoles whining thinly in the wind. A burned house in a clearing and beyond that a reach of meadowlands stark and gray and a raw red mudbank where roadworks lay abandoned.

Farther along were billboards advertising motels. Everything as it once had been save faded and weathered. At the top of the hill they stood in the cold and the wind, getting their breath. He looked at the boy.

–’I’m all right’, the boy said. The man put his hand on his shoulder and nodded toward the open country below them. He got the binoculars out of the cart and stood in the road and glassed the plain down there where the shape of a city stood in the grayness like a charcoal drawing sketched across the waste. Nothing to see. No smoke. –’Can I see’ the boy said. –’Yes. Of course you can’. The boy leaned on the cart and adjusted the wheel. –’What do you see?’ The man said. –’Nothing’."

Cormac McCarthy, The Road (London: Picador, 2009), pp. 6-7.