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Feral Hasids: The Interplay of Ritual and Space

Sunday, May 6, 2018 • 21 Iyyar 5778

7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Feral Hasids is a photographic story of New Yorkers escaping captivity, from modern urban/shtetl life. Not to be confused with the zeitgeist genre of "wayward, or off the derekh hasids," the men and women photographed are fervently religious, devoted followers, yet unashamed and feral. Moeller uses Gonzo journalistic tactics, traveling to music festivals, forests, and rural landscapes around Upstate New York, sensitively placing himself in each episode and gaining the trust of these tribal leaders as they birth a new sense of ritual.

Feral, with its violent and wild connotations, is where the photographer finds it easy to juxtapose human communal practices with savage nature. Using several motifs the photographer shows the phenomenon that is life escaping domestication while contrasting a colorful rainbow of natural fungal and plant growth that eludes cultivation altogether. Moeller tells us a new story of man vs. nature, and how that interplay of ritual and space evolves into a new American religious experience. To replicate a bygone era, and an unfiltered look at nature, this portrait series was shot exclusively with a 1980 vintage 35mm Nikkor lens.


Ahron Moeller is a photo journalist in NYC and the Hudson Valley. Former editor-in-chief of The Advocate, his work evolved from Albany politics to identity politics.A mycologist and permaculture farmer, Moeller brings disparate elements out of nature to help color the work along side his portrait subjects. Gonzo Iconography is a method developed to help the photographer empathize with his subjects. In this story he focused on a community he calls Feral Hasids. For more info follow his Instagram: FloatingHeadsHair

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