Can there still be ‘camp’ in a world where anything goes – from transgender to merged sexual identities – at least in Western society and especially in America?https://www.instagram.com/p/BxJQtceBuH7/?utm_source=ig_embedWhat is camp anyway, apart from the name of the current exhibition at the Costume Institute of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art? Curator Andrew Bolton, who was inspired by Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay, ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’, claims, “We are experiencing a resurgence of camp – not just in fashion, but in general. Camp tends to come to the fore during moments of social and political instability, when our society is deeply polarised. The 1960s were one such moment, as were the 1980s – and so too are the times in which we are living.”
In the broader display space of the exhibition, the clickety-clack of a typewriter tapping out Sontag’s words introduces a splendid display of feathery dresses. Raised to an upper level near the ceiling, they seem like a cluster of exotic birds.
The American writer and political activist might never have imagined that her work would frame the most enormous examples of fluff that I have ever seen mounting the staircase of the Met. For the fund-raising evening Gala, the stairs were pretty in pink and guests entered the museum to a high-rise display of floral flamingos filling the grand entrance hall.https://www.instagram.com/p/BxJI4-jB-HQ/?utm_source=ig_embed“I think camp is a very individual sense of self expression,” said Anna Wintour, who greeted guests at the top of the stairs, along with Lady Gaga, who, by the time I walked up, had already changed her outfit three times.