Drag and Camp: the Aesthetic of Excess / Drag et Camp : l’esthétique de l’excès
Paris+ par Art Basel 2023, October 20
‘The essence of Camp is its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration.’ Susan Sontag’s words continue to resonate throughout the history of art, across different forms, from performance art to visual art and television. Through pastiche, distancing, and excess, camp and drag culture have shaped generations of avant-gardes. This panel explores the political and aesthetic significance of camp, at a time when the figure of the drag queen is being singled out in conservative circles.
‣ Steven Cohen, performer, visual artist and choreographer, Lille
‣ Anthea Hamilton, artist, London
‣ Bruce LaBruce, Filmmaker, photographer, and writer, Toronto
‣ Moderator: Jordan Richman, cultural director, editor, and writer, New York
‣ Steven Cohen was born in 1962 in Johannesburg, South Africa and now lives in France. Performer, visual artist, and choreographer, he has orchestrated interventions in public places, art galleries, and on the stage. For these, Cohen dresses up or rather metamorphoses into creatures as disconcerting as they are colorful. Through his interventions on stage or in public spaces, he disrupts the everyday and the mind – not to trip people up but in order to challenge preconceived certitudes and take a united stand against the indifference currently gaining ground within our societies.
‣ Bruce LaBruce is a filmmaker, photographer, writer, and artist based in Toronto, Canada and working internationally. Along with a number of short films, he has written and directed 14 feature films, including Gerontophilia, which won the Grand Prix at the Festival du Nouveau Cinema in Montreal in 2013, and Pierrot Lunaire, which won a Teddy Award at the Berlinale in 2014.
‣ Anthea Hamilton was born in 1978 in London, where she continues to live and work. She was one of four shortlisted artists for the 2016 Turner Prize. Her approach has often focused on extended study of archives, scientific research, and popular culture, combining these with resonant images and objects in unusual and surreal ways. In addition, Hamilton consistently considers aspects of presentation beyond her objects and images, applying wallpaper, carpet, vinyl, and painted surfaces to the walls and floors and introducing costume and performance within her work.
‣ Jordan Richman is a cultural director, editor, and writer. As Editor-at-Large of BLAU International, he curates stories at the interplay of art, design, and culture, while his prose and cultural commentary appear in his column for the magazine 032c, where he navigates the complexities of contemporary society, fashion, technology, and art. Engaging in conversations with individuals from emerging talents to iconoclastic philosophers like Slavoj Žižek across various publications – KALEIDOSCOPE Pin-Up, Fantastic Man, Spike, and others – Richman delves into the psyches shaping our zeitgeist. He authored the oral history of ART CLUB2000.
The Conversations program for Paris+ par Art Basel 2023 is curated by Pierre-Alexandre Mateos and Charles Teyssou.
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