Standard of Repose
In the summer of 2018 a tornado ripped through the Metro East St Louis region, leaving a beautiful and twisted form in its aftermath. The energy that once coursed through this radio tower was released; today the structure sits in an open field sinking into the earth, anticipating a future of ruin. I have been photographing the radio tower and its surroundings since that day.
This massive form lying in a farmer’s field is a paradox. It is powerful and graceful, expressing pathos and beauty all at once. In spite of its enormous weight and stretch, this radio tower and its surrounding environment goes unnoticed. For me this place has become like a refrain- a place for familiar and peaceful return. Poignant irony fills this site; a twisted mass of steel fallen along the periphery of a landfill has released itself. It sits in an empty and exposed field appearing as vulnerable as a fallen beast.
My creative process involves regular and repeated visits to sites in transition. The powerful tornado transformed this upright steel structure into a twisted dying animal. Returning this single place over and over and getting closer to the fallen tower over time documents the environmental changes in this particular place. The evidence of climate change is felt in this field. The twisted tower as it sinks into the ground is becoming part of the land. It is becoming part of the horizon, joining the arc and form of the surrounding landscape.