Cate Dingley

CATE DINGLEY (b. 1989) was born and grew up in the American Midwest. Primarily self-taught in darkroom photography since the age of fourteen, she studied the liberal arts at Wells College where she received her BA in 2011. In 2014 Cate received a certificate in photojournalism and documentary photography from the International Center of Photography, and was awarded a scholarship from the Lisette Model Foundation. She was honored to be a finalist for the Center for Documentary Studies First Book Prize, as well as being chosen for American Photography 31. She has had work in and produced exhibitions across the US. Now residing in Brooklyn, Cate works as a freelance photographer and has a number of documentary projects in progress. She was recently awarded a grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council for a solo show in the summer of 2016.

Richie Magic, “The Human Ashtray”

Richie Magic, “The Human Ashtray”

John “Red” Stuart, Sword & Car Axle Swallower

John “Red” Stuart, Sword & Car Axle Swallower

The Triumph of Obscurity
Above all they are unabashedly themselves. These are world record holders: jugglers, light bulb
eaters, and sword swallowers, among others. Most have dedicated their lives to their own
obscure and fantastic talent. They live in a different world, where both insignificant and
impressive feats are celebrated, and then forgotten as the next goal comes into view.

I want to show the extraordinary. I chose to photograph the record holders in their homes or
other spaces significant to them to give the viewer more access into their personalities, which
raise far more compelling questions than the actual records. What makes these record holders
want to be the absolute “best” at something, even if it’s trivial? What makes them cultivate this
extreme individuality, at the risk of injury or alienation?

Todd Robbins, Light Bulb Eater

Todd Robbins, Light Bulb Eater

Tanya Adamovich, Olympic Fencer

Tanya Adamovich, Olympic Fencer

Natasha Veruschka, Sword Swallower

Natasha Veruschka, Sword Swallower

Marc Hartzman, Lightweight Juggler

Marc Hartzman, Lightweight Juggler

Simon Lovell, Ex-Con Man & Cardsharp

Simon Lovell, Ex-Con Man & Cardsharp

The Great Throwdini, Knife Thrower

The Great Throwdini, Knife Thrower

Haley Hall, Youngest Living Sword Swallower

Haley Hall, Youngest Living Sword Swallower

Russ Heller, Listened to “Worst Song Ever” in Plexiglass Box for 24 Hours

Russ Heller, Listened to “Worst Song Ever” in Plexiglass Box for 24 Hours

To see more of Cate’s work, visit her website.



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