13 Hydrants (and why)

Some pristine & sublime, some sad & ridiculous

There is a magnetic quality I feel towards fire hydrants that I am trying to understand. That sounds fetishized, and that may be a good way to start to explain the making of these images; ‘Fetish… …broadly: a material object regarded with superstitious or extravagant trust or reverence,’ so says Merriam-Webster.

Specifically, these objects are extravagantly trusted – in my opinion – by society; they command a respect which is formed by a feeling of security and safety from a base human instinct of respect, fear and intrigue toward fire and combustion. I have only ever seen them being used in an illegal, wasteful, and absurdly joyous way: During the solid-air days of summer they can become oases with a quick turn from the right tool. What elemental relief! Micro rainbows dance across avenues, dousing the heat with a cold, raging font. The elemental attractiveness adding to their magnetic quality.

Furthering this line of thought, let us not forget the opposite of a magnet’s property to attract; to repel. The hydrant’s primary function is, of course, to aid in repelling fire. Generally speaking their location is on the sidewalk and access to them must be of ease, therefore, there is always space surrounding them (15ft in NYC), creating tiny unnatural oases between parked cars and small windows to see through to a row of houses or stores. The hope is that this goes some way to explain where these images came from.