IF A THEME THAT SHOULD BE A PROTEST AGAINST NORMATIVE HETEROSEXUAL PRIVILEGE IS ENDING IN A “BEST DRESSED SHOW” – WE ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE
This year’s theme at the Met Gala was “Notes on Camp” highly inspired by Susan Sontag’s Essay first published in 1994. For those of you who do not know the essay (do read it) Here is a little excerpt:
“The essence of Camp is its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration,” wrote Sontag. “And Camp is esoteric—something of a private code, a badge of identity even, among small urban cliques.”
Sontag patiently explains why Cocteau is camp but not Gide; Strauss but not Wagner. Caravaggio and “much of Mozart” are grouped, in her ranking, with Jayne Mansfield and Bette Davis; John Ruskin effortlessly sidles up alongside Mae West. The true “aristocrats of taste,” she wrote, were homosexuals, whose “aestheticism and irony,” alongside “Jewish moral seriousness,” made up the modern sensibility.
Thanks to Sontag, Camp came to symbolize the new, liberal attitude toward sexuality, politics, and society.
However…..as some called it may be the most confusing theme ever, what could have been a clear and bold political statement, turned out to not be understood by many – especially not the press, and it’s hard to believe how many journalists can be so ignorant….
Benjamin Moser writes in an article titled: “Why Susan Sontag would have hated the Camp themed Met Gala”: “Notes on ‘Camp’” was a threat to heterosexual supremacy. “Notes on ‘Camp’” was part of a broader movement to overthrow established hierarchies. Camp was resistance. “
Only a few guests seem to have gotten the message. Surely not the men in black smokings, the Kardashian’s and no not even Lady Gaga, who must have been the most featured 5 dress object of the press this year.
Even worse the Telegraph titled:
The 10 best ageless beauty looks from last night’s Met Gala
Susan Sontag would have probably fainted inspite of that much ignorance, or hopefully risen to the occasion and wrote a brilliant scathingly essay about the superficiality of modern times.
Homosexual taste had always been an undercurrent in art, but it has rarely been named as such – yesterday would have been the time and place.
Kudo’s to a few men who did get the message, although the statements, unfortunately, were mostly ignored. First of all:Billy Porter – perhaps almost the only one who truly understood what this was all about
Darren Criss, Harry Styles and Jarred Leto as well as Alessandro Michele and not to forget Lena Waithe paying tribute to those who really started the theme.
For the rest of you ignorant fashion journalists and bloggers, and yes even the New York times…..if there is a themed event called Camp….the dresses of the ladies and who was wearing what – might be the worst angle on last nights event you could possibly have. Shame on you!