Dimmock tackles a subject that’s nothing new to the world of photography but she does so in a way that’s refreshing. This series centres around the lives of three individuals as they struggle with life as heroin addicts. Dimmock immerses herself in the project and I think that pays off when viewing the final selection. I think the most impressive aspect of this work is the lack of shock tactics and over-sentimentality. Dimmock doesn’t resort to cheap surprises and instead focuses on the lives themselves. You don’t get the feeling that these are lives fully spent in despair but rather ones that are spent trying to hold on to what little happiness they do have.
I don’t think I could ever undertake such an affecting project. I understand the distancing effect that a camera lens can have on a photographer but the human element in this series would be too much for me. The emotional investment required to do this work this well is something that I truly admire.
An incredible series of photographs, I read about her in Aperture 185 a while ago, and was just writing about this series in my essay. They’re powerful, an incredible portrait of addiction and distress.
“Natasha, a young woman with braided red hair holds a needle between her teeth, as she presses her hand against her punctured vein to stanch the flow of blood that has stained her arm. But, with her elbows raised and her body turning in a pose of balletic elegance, she seems lost in a dreamy torpor.”
In 2007, Jessica Dimmock was approached by someone she was photographing on the street and brought her to the apartment.The Ninth Floor is a three-year intense documentation of the lives of 20 to 30 heroin addicts who lived in a run-down apartment in a well-appointed building in a fancy Manhattan neighborhood.
Noted VII Photo Agency documentary photographer and videographer Jessica Dimmock will present her video series from the BDC’s current Too Young to Wed exhibition, created by Stephanie Sinclair, about child marriage around the world. Jessica will present other recent documentary projects as well.