Camp taste has an affinity for certain arts rather than others. Clothes, furniture, all the elements of visual décor, for instance, make up a large part of Camp. For Camp art is often decorative art, emphasising texture, sensuous surface, and style at the expense of content. Concert music, though, because it is contentless, is rarely Camp.
S. Sontag ‘Notes on “Camp”’
You have to mediate on it and feel it intuitively, like Lao Tze’s Tao. Once you’ve done that, you’ll find yourself wanting to use the word whenever you discuss aesthetics or philosophy or almost anything. I never can understand how critics manage to do without it.
Christopher Isherwood, The world in the evening, p. 111
Camp is a vision of the world in terms of style.
Intending to be campy is always harmful.
Many of the objects prized by Camp taste are old-fashioned, out-of-date, démodé.
Camp taste turns its back on the good-bad axis of ordinary aesthetic judgment.
Camp sees everything in quotation marks.
Camp and tragedy are antitheses.
Camp is a solvent of morality. It neutralises moral indignation, sponsors playfulness.
The ultimate Camp statement: it’s good because it’s awful.
Sontag Notes on <<Camp>>.
If you… try to amuse yourself by watching an awful old film, you are not being camp. You only become so if you subsequently proclaim to others that you thought Victor Mature was divine in Samson and Delilah.
Being campy is to present oneself as being committed to the marginal with a commitment greater than the marginal merits.
Mark Booth : ‘Campe-Toi! On the Origns and Definitions of Camp’. In ‘Camp: Queer Aesthetics and the Performing Subject: a Reader’, edited by Fabio Cleto,p. 66–79.
|Isherwood (1954)||Sontag (1964)||Booth (1983)|
|origin||Dostoyevsky, modern Freud’s psychocamp||Mannerist artists||erm se camper first used in Theophile Gautier’s Le Capitaine Fracasse – dignified, but unstable self-presentation|
|cultural pattern||–||Dandy||17th Century France, court of Louis XIV|
|what is the camp?||Mozart, El Greco, Dostoyevsky||Art Nouveau, movie criticism (lists of the 10 Best/Worst), Richard Strauss operas,The Maltese Falcon, stag movies seen without lust, Sagrada Familia||Wilde, Warhol, baroque art and Mozart’s music reception|
|what is not the camp?||Beethoven, Flaubert, Rembrandt||Beethoven (concert music), Wagner, Eisenstein’s Ivan The Terrible, Divine Comedy , Jesus, St. Francis, Napoleon –||pop culture, swank without sense of humour, kitsch|
|camp characteristics||hidden soriousness||contrast between extravagancy of content and overloaded form, ambiguous appraisement of aesthetic value, morality outrage neutralisation||aspiration to be in the spotlight, sense of humour, detachment|
|camp goals||making fun, seriousness realised by humour||fun without judgement||self-presentation, self-parody, encourage in negligible ideas|
A Serafin, ‘Krótki kurs historii kampu’, in: ‘CAMPania. Zjawisko campu we współczesnej kulturze’, edited by P. Oczko, Wydawnictwo Krytyki Politycznej, Warszawa 2008, p. 15