The exhibition at ClampArt draws together artwork selected by a wide range of artists, living and deceased, who have created objects that deal with the theme of camp—both conceptually and stylistically. The debate over what is “camp” is never-ending. What is the distinction between camp and kitsch? Championing style over substance, can there be political potential in camp? In an era of “Rupaul’s Drag Race” and Gucci’s sponsorship of The Met’s “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” does the ship tank when everyone climbs on board?
© Mariette Pathy Allen; "Sunday Morning During a Drag Ball,” 1984; Archival pigment print (Edition of 3); 15.25 x 23 inches (38.74 x 58.42 cm), image
No one exhibition can encompass all that is camp. Nor can anyone chronicle the whole history of camp. In that spirit, the gallery invites small-scale additions to the show through its seven-week run. After all, camp is not just appearance, but also performance.
© Estate of Bill Costa (1944-1995); "Untitled (Rollerena Fairy Godmother), n.d.; Chromogenic print; 9.25 x 7.5 inches (23.5 x 19.1 cm), image
The experiment begins with works by Aaron Cobbett, Bill Costa, Chuck Samuels, Daniel Handal, Gardar Eide Einarsson, George Platt Lynes, George Stavrinos, Henry Horenstein, Jack Smith, James Bidgood, Jerome Caja, Jesse Egner, Jill Greenberg, John Arsenault, John Waters, Mariette Pathy Allen, Mark Beard, Mark Morrisroe, Mick Rock, Millie von Platen, Nan Goldin, Nancy Burson, Paul LeRoy Gehres, Peter Berlin, Rink, Scott Williams, Sister Boom Boom, Steve Kramer, Tabboo!, Tamara F, Tomata de Plenty, and Victor Cobo.