Camp: Notes on Fashion

Camp: Notes on FashionImage courtesy of Johnny Dufort

Camp: Notes on Fashion
MET – New York
May 9 – September 8, 2019

The Costume Institute’s spring 2019 exhibition, Camp: Notes on Fashion, will explore the origins of camp’s exuberant aesthetic and how the sensibility evolved from a place of marginality to become an important influence on mainstream culture. Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp'” provides the framework for the exhibition, which will examine how fashion designers have used their métier as a vehicle to engage with camp in a myriad of compelling, humorous, and sometimes incongruous ways.

            

Camp: Notes on FashionImage courtesy of Johnny Dufort

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Camp‘s disruptive nature and subversion of modern aesthetic values has often been trivialized, but this exhibition will reveal that it has had a profound influence on both high art and popular culture,” said Max Hollein, Director of The Met. “By tracing its evolution and highlighting its defining elements, the show will embody the ironic sensibilities of this audacious style, challenge conventional understandings of beauty and taste, and establish the critical role that this important genre has played in the history of art and fashion.”

                   

Camp: Notes on FashionImage courtesy of Johnny Dufort

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In celebration of the opening, The Costume Institute Benefit-also known as The Met Gala-will take place on Monday, May 6. The evening’s co-chairs will be Lady Gaga, Alessandro Michele, Harry Styles, Serena Williams, and Anna Wintour. The event is The Costume Institute‘s main source of annual funding for exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, and capital improvements. “Fashion is the most overt and enduring conduit of the camp aesthetic,” said Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute.

                   

Camp: Notes on FashionImage courtesy of Johnny Dufort

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“Effectively illustrating Sontag‘s ‘Notes on “Camp,”‘ the exhibition will advance creative and critical dialogue about the ongoing and ever-evolving impact of camp on fashion.” The exhibition will feature approximately 200 objects, including womenswear and menswear, as well as sculptures, paintings, and drawings dating from the 17th century to the present. The show’s opening section will position Versailles as a “camp Eden” and address the concept of se camper-“to posture boldly”- in the royal courts of Louis XIV and Louis XV.

                   

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It will then focus on the figure of the dandy as a “camp ideal” and trace camp’s origins to the queer subcultures of Europe and America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In her essay, Sontag defined camp as an aesthetic and outlined its primary characteristics. The largest section of the exhibition will be devoted to how these elements-which include irony, humor, parody, pastiche, artifice, theatricality, and exaggeration-are expressed in fashion. The exhibition is organized by Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute, with Karen Van Godtsenhoven, Associate Curator.

                   

Camp: Notes on FashionImage courtesy of Johnny Dufort

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Theater scenographer Jan Versweyveld, whose work includes Lazarus with David Bowie as well as Broadway productions of A View from the Bridge and Network, will create the exhibition design with The Met‘s Design Department. Select mannequin headpieces will be created by Shay Ashual. Raul Avila will produce the gala décor, which he has done since 2007. The exhibition is made possible by Gucci. Additional support is provided by Condé Nast.

more. www.metmuseum.org

                  

Camp: Notes on FashionImage courtesy of Johnny Dufort

Camp: Notes on FashionImage courtesy of Johnny Dufort

Camp: Notes on FashionImage courtesy of Johnny Dufort

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