About this series:
The JCC Ranch Camp is a 400 acre property located in Elbert, Colorado’s Black Forest. It has been hosting kids from the region since 1953. The camp’s main buildings are nestled together on 40 acres and surrounded by a sprawling pine tree forest that provides countless spots for hiking, climbing, camping, and exploring. The camp also has a corral with over 40 horses, which the camp claims is, “one of the best equestrian programs to be found in a Jewish camp setting nationwide.”
Remi attended the camp from 1989 – 1991 (age 10-12). Thanks to his insomnia, he got to know the camp after hours. When his friends would doze off, he would slink out of his cabin and sit outside with one of the counselors on overnight duty until he was advised to give sleeping another shot.
In September, 2015, Remi returned to the camp and spent several hours photographing the empty property in the middle of the night. He and his wife were given free rein, including access to any building and the light switches outside and within.
“Like most places, the camp had an entirely different personality at night. The sandy, inner 40 acres took on a distinctive look, sound, and feel once the sun went down. Playful and safe became mysterious and strange. This transformation is something that I’ve been exploring for a long time through photography. Given my love for my old sleep-away camp, and continual exploration of shooting in the dark, it made sense for me to return and document the silent side, as I remember it.”
– Remi Thornton
This work was first featured in a solo show in North Allston, Massachusetts, from March 18th – April 3, 2016. Photos of the installation are below.