The group show Rear Windows at The Invisible Dog features works from five photographers, all occupied with subjects that live in the shadows of society in New York. All five photographers went to the Photojournalism and Documentary program at the International Center of Photography and not surprisingly, all photos have a strong documentary aspect in common aside from the similarity in subjects.
Even though the photos all differ in execution, Cate Dingley’s black and white shots in particular stand out from the group with a different aesthetic, giving the viewer a chance to see a hidden world that coexists with our own lives. These hidden lives form a parallel world since they are almost self-contained communities, separate from society. Chris Occhicone Fringe City might be the most apparent example of this. His work documents the residents of a tent city in New Jersey and is a story about humanity and addiction. His work questions the way society handles these “outsiders”. Addiction of drugs and alcohol has led them to reside in this particular place. Authorities have tried to move them in different ways, but do not actually confront the underlying psychological problems that have caused these individuals to end up here in the first place.
© Cate Dingley from the project "Girl Under Glass."
Allen Agostino’s series The Hole is also a good example of documentation of a group that is almost completely cut off from society. His photographs document a neighborhood in Brooklyn, below sea level, where the residents are forced to deal with flooding and overflowing septic tanks daily. The series also expresses the emotional hole that the residents are struggling to dig themselves out of.
© Nicolas Enriquez from the project "Bloodline."
©Chris Occhione, from his project "Fringe"
The other three photographers document people that are not as literally or physically outside society, but nevertheless form their own outsider communities. Cate Dingley’s Girl Behind Glass features the girls of one of the last peep shows in New York, Nicolas Enriquez’s The Bloodline shows the hard life conditions of gang members of Latin Kings and Theo Zierock’s Aqueduct documents the last few characters spending their time at New York’s last racetrack.
© Theo Zierock from the proyect "Aqueduct: A Temple of Luck."
All these five different series deserve their own analysis, showing such strong photos of a parallel part of society. In fact many of the portrayed individuals rarely exist in what most of us call “society” but maybe that is a term that needs redefining. Although documentary in style these photos are far from objective, which isn’t something that the photographers have claimed to achieve, they show the humanity in all of the individuals and communities portrayed.
by Helena Calmfors
THEO ZIEROCK is a photojournalist and documentary photographer. Born in Bolzano, Italy in 1990, he graduated in Political Science and Theory of Photography in 2013 from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. During his studies he interned for Paolo Verzone in Paris, AFP in New York, and ran the photographic department of the university newspaper Züricher Studentenzeitung. In 2014 he completed the photojournalism program at the International Center of Photography and was selected for the 27th Eddie Adams Workshop. His work has been published in The New York Times, The LA Times, ABC News, Emerge Magazin, La Repubblica, CBS, Huffington Post, The Washington Post, The Telegraph and Al Jazeera. He is based in Italy.
ALLEN AGOSTINO is a photojournalist and long-term documentary photographer. A graduate of the International Center of Photography in 2014, he was invited back to teach a class he created called Digital Reverence later that year in September of 2014. Allen has worked for Aljazeera America, News Day, The Toronto Star, Narrativley, and Inside Toronto. Now Based out of Toronto, he plans to pursue long term projects in Detroit where he will continue documenting issues facing contemporary American society. His project The Hole was published as a three-part series by Narrativley. It was also featured on German public television by ARD Germany. It has been shown in numerous film festivals around the world.
CATE DINGLEY started taking photographs at the age of fourteen in her hometown of Kansas City. She has been in gallery exhibitions across the U.S. and was shortlisted by Fotofilmic in 2013. She received a certificate in photojournalism and documentary photography in 2014 from the International Center of Photography, and was awarded a scholarship from the Lisette Model Foundation. Cate currently lives in Brooklyn, where she works on her personal documentary projects and freelances as a photojournalist. She was recently honored to be a finalist for Conscientious Magazine’s Portfolio Award and for the First Book Prize from the Center for Documentary Studies.
NICOLAS ENRIQUEZ was born in the city of Cali-Colombia in 1993. He graduated from the Photojournalism and Documentary Photography program at The International center of Photography in 2014. His most influential work The Bloodline documenting the Latin Kings gang has helped him to develop an interest in urban conflict and political and human rights issues. He currently works as a freelance photographer for the New York Daily News and his work has been published in different media outlets such as The New York Times, American Photography, Getty images, PROOF, and NY Daily News.
CHRISTOPHER OCCHICONE was born and raised in NY where he is currently based as a freelance photographer. He is a graduate of the PJ program at the International Center of Photography where he was awarded the George and Joyce Moss scholarship and was selected for the Eddie Adams Workshop. He work has been featured at Visa Pour L’Image and was a finalist for LensCulture’s Visual Story Telling Award. His work has been featured on Al-Jazeera, Panorama, Featureshoot, and AlterEco+. Prior to photography he did graduate work in public health at Harvard and Conflict Resolution at The Whitehead School of Government, and taught in Italy and Poland.