The space between the levee and the river is a forgotten zone— transitions marked mostly by regular cycles of flooding and changes of season. At first encounter this place seems inhospitable— made more so because of its proximity and entanglement with its industrial and toxic histories. This is a landscape of erasures and deeply hidden histories.
These are damaged woods where the remnants of 20th century infrastructure are being swallowed by the earth. Mounds of residue from coal production and stone pilings that stand like sentinels, recall the area’s complex and distant past. Here too can be found the demarcations of vegetation where emergence and decay find uncertain balance.
This segment along the Mississippi River was once a significant hub of commerce, industrial growth and transport activity. The levee protects the surrounding community of strip clubs and chemical plants, and runs parallel to one of the remaining Railroad lines that skirt across the region. It is this space in-between, deep in the fragile woods where no one looks, that I wander.
Photography is the ideal medium to explore this landscape in which the marks of human intervention are hidden in plain sight. A photograph can be shrewd in its deception; it can appear to operate as a neutral document with unbiased perspective while simultaneously expressing individual and acute observations. This paradoxical condition calls attention to expectations and opens questions about what we think we believe. I use this duality embedded in the medium, to address the environmental precarities of our time.