Monday, February 21, 2011

Notes on Notes on Camp

by Sofya Gladysheva

Susan Sontag explains that Camp style is something artificial that tries to be serious, but fails at it. Camp objects are often exaggerated, and a little “off.” Androgynous style is Camp because it is an exaggeration of otherwise repressed sexuality; it is both unnatural and interesting to see a woman dress masculine. Opera and Ballet are also often experienced as Camp because neither art form can truly capture “the complexity of human nature.”
The origins of Camp are found in the 18th century with things like gothic novels, and caricatures. Camp works best when it is unintentional, when the artist is actually trying to produce something serious and full of content, but never really gets there. Thus, Camp style is one that makes you go “it's good because it's awful” or “It’s too much.” In that way, Camp blurs the line between what is good and bad.

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