Cleopatra’s needle is the name given to the obelisk in Central Park, a gift from the Khedive of Egypt. I see this obelisk almost every morning. It was made to stand in Heliopolis 1450 years ago. It is, no doubt, the oldest object in this city. If only the city could avoid such an awful and silly name.
Yesterday, at The Balcony, the Pride Menu was already on offer. Why not? After all, a few meters away one could enjoy -and criticize- “CAMP – Notes on Fashion”, a certainly impressive display of fashion and its present-day power.
The Met, and Anne Wintour, want us to believe and see that fashion goes hand in hand with art, and in doing so they both seem to be earning lots of miles.
But these notes “on fashion on CAMP” brutally sacrifices Susan Sontag’s brilliant essay on this matter (written -yes, it is really amazing-, in 1964!), the same way last year exhibition, devoted to Catholic fashion’s delirium, bled Fellini’s Roma.
However, the show is impressive and enjoyable despite its flaws. In my opinion it leaves out a lot, and tries to impose, again, a shortsighted Anglo-Saxon standard on what being camp means: where are Quentin Crisp, Pedro Almodovar or Lola Flores? What about la cage aux folles or Fassbinder (Querelle de Brest and Petra von Kant)? Where is Alan Bennett or his fashionable gay spies in fourrures along the streets of Moscow, or Little Brittain’s only gay man in the village scantily clad? My feeling is that the show only wants to turn CAMP into GLAM. Sort of castrating it. Perhaps, one crucial difference between CAMP and GLAM is that CAMP is activism and GLAM isn’t. Watch out!