Camp: Notes on Fashion
Following on from this year's Met Gala theme, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is holding a sumptuous exhibition exploring the idea of camp as outlined in Susan Sontag's 1964 essay Notes on 'Camp'. The show tells the story of the queer aesthetic from the early seventeenth century to the modern day through literature, art and fashion with around 250 objects.
The first half of the exhibition examines the origins of camp in early texts and highlights heroes of queer culture, such as Antinous, the tragic lover of the emperor Hadrian, Louis XIV, his famously bi-sexual brother, and, of course, Oscar Wilde. The second part of the exhibition explores contemporary art and fashion, with well-known items, such as Björk's famous swan dress and a plethora of pieces by the world's most iconic designers.
The idea of camp, with its many permutations and complexities, has never been easy to completely define, but Andrew Bolton, Head Curator of the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute suggests that it is 'irony, humour, parody, excess, exaggeration... it is the gift that keeps on giving.'
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9 May – 8 September
The Met, Fifth Avenue