NOTES ON NOTES ON "CAMP"
APRIL 2 - MAY 8, 2011
Duke & Battersby
INVISIBLE-EXPORTS is pleased to present Notes on Notes on “Camp”, a group exhibition featuring works by Duke & Battersby, Mike Bouchet, Nicole Cherubini, Vaginal Davis, Jeremy Kost, Jessica Labatte, Cary Leibowitz, Robert Melee, Bob Mizer, Brent Owens, John Waters, Karlheinz Weinberger.
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Camp was a curio of ambivalence for the Susan Sontag generation—the product of an arts culture too savvy and too swish to take seriously the modernist claims of imperious America. But a lot has changed since 1964, and although irony has metastasized in American culture just as Sontag feared, camp remains a curiously vital tool for those laboring amidst disaffected generations but hoping to forge new meaning — a personal meaning, an operatic performance of self, private history and identity — from a common aesthetic patrimony.
For those artists whose work is collected here, that camp patrimony is not a novelty but a marvelous palimpsest—a layer cake of cultural performance and ambiguous content lacquered over not to ironize sentiment but to caress it. In Notes on Notes on “Camp”, the pliable visual language that emerged in the subversive culture of post AbEx New York is not a dated satirical vogue but a running study of latent earnestness, the camp voice not a piercing critique but a wellspring of common feeling—longing writ large.