Camp Photo Day, 2008 | From the series, Cruel Story of Youth
Grounded in the ideals of a counter-cultural past and freed from the forced constraints of a conventional camp experience, these photographs explore a society of teenagers empowered through otherwise impossible freedoms. Nestled in the mountains of Massachusetts is Rowe Camp, a summer utopia self-governed by teens. In the real world, the campers are too young to vote, but here they're allowed to give strong opinions about the way they live. It's a glimpse into what life might be like if no ideas were too absurd and eccentricity was the rule, not the exception. My own summers spent at Rowe were both a culture shock and nothing short of paradise. Years after my initiation, I returned to photograph the rituals and intricacies of this unusual community. For the first time in their young lives, the looming presence of adults becomes almost non-existent. They are given the opportunity to define their relationships and daily behaviors without the smothering influence of typical social expectations. This series explores my personal reconciliation with the slowly fading memories that once had an indelible impact on my path to adulthood. I spent several weeks living with and documenting the emotional landscape of Rowe's current inhabitants as part alumnus, part outsider. The series' title (named after Nagisa Oshima's landmark Japanese New Wave film) refers not to the camp population, but to the life they must return to after tasting true independence for a fleeting moment.
8x10" image on 8.5x11" paper
Archival ink jet print
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Jennifer Loeber was born and raised in New York City and received her BFA in photography from Massachusetts College of Art. She has been exhibited widely, including exhibitions at the Daegu Photo Biennale in South Korea, the Griffin Museum of Photography, The Center for Fine Art Photography, the SCOPE Art Fair in New York City, The Center for Photography at Woodstock, Photoville Festival and Rayko Gallery. Her work has been featured in publications such as PDN, The Village Voice, Time Out New York, Guernica, Le Journal de la Photographie and GUP Magazine. She has received numerous honors and awards for her work including a Terry O’Neill TAG award nomination (2012), a Darkroom Residency at The Camera Club of New York (2011), Finalist in Photolucida’s Critical Mass (2011), Honorable Mention in CENTER’s 2010 Project Competition and inclusion in Review Santa Fe (2010). Jennifer currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.