Fri 15 Jul, 3–5pm
Free, all welcome
Choreographer and Dance Art Foundation Artistic Director Joe Moran invites dramaturge Martin Hargreaves and artist Pablo Bronstein to discuss the implications of camp and the queer body in the visual arts. This event is part of Dance Art Foundation’s Why Everyone Wants What We’ve Got two-year research project, which began at DRAF Studio in September 2015 with the performance and live creation of Splendour by Swedish choreographer Stina Nyberg.
In Susan Sontag’s Notes on Camp (1964) she claims that the sensibility of Camp is “one of the hardest things to talk about”. As both Bruce La Bruce’s Notes on Camp/Anti-Camp (2012) and Chris Sharp’s Notes on Neo-Camp (2013) attest, at least since Sontag’s first salvo, any attempt to describe or delimit this sensibility is riven with contradiction and uneasy flirtations with sincerity. Sontag claims that Camp adopts an apolitical stance, precisely because it will not stand firmly and squarely on any ground. It wilts, feigns, slides and droops. It dissembles as caring too much and at the same time not at all. There are always quotation marks but where they fall is finally never clear. La Bruce claims that there is Bad Straight Camp that has been absorbed into mainstream cynical irony and Sharp echoes Sontag’s claim that it can be a tactic for producing and framing cultural production which is not intrinsically queer. We will perhaps consider this repeated attempt to moralise and value Camp as Good/Bad, Normative/Queer, Intentional/Naive (and many other failed attempts to draw distinctions) but also talk about pleasure and delight in the seriousness that misses its mark, the gesture which does too much and the anachronism which skews tastefulness.
Martin Hargreaves is an Associate Lecturer in Fine Art at Goldsmiths and a Visiting Lecturer in New Performative Practices at DOCH, Stockholm. His research practices range between boredom and hysteria, covering the histories of contemporary dance, queer performance and camp misunderstandings.
Pablo Bronstein is an Argentinian artist who lives and works in London. His work spans from drawing and sculpture to choreography and performance, with a focus on architecture. His current project, Historical Dances in an Antique Setting, will be on view at Tate Britain in the Duveen Galleries, until October 2016.
Joe Moran is a choreographer with a wide-ranging practice incorporating touring theatre works, gallery installation, lecture-performances and curatorial projects. His work tackles contemporary propositions in dance, performance and critical thought. He is currently completing Why Everyone Wants What We’ve Got, a two-year research project speaking up for dance’s critical acumen.
DRAF Studio is supported by Arts Council England
Thanks to the Galleries Circle for supporting performance at DRAF