new-york

Jack Ferver

New Museum

“As the dandy is the nineteenth century’s surrogate for the aristocrat in matters of culture, so Camp is the modern dandyism. Camp is the answer to the problem: how to be a dandy in the age of mass culture,” Susan Sontag wrote in her 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp.’” That a camp sensibility might be argued, in the nearly half a century since the appearance of Sontag’s text, to have ascended (or perhaps descended) to the level of a codified, “subversive” idea (often rendered cynically, and thus no longer camp) does not, however, lessen the force of the effects it can enable. Unrenouncably queer and usually class-combative, camp—however tired its tropes might appear to some—persists, evolving new forms while retaining fierce ties to its own (counter) histories and (counter)aesthetics.

The performer and choreographer Jack Ferver offers a case in point. His mere being seems to irritate critics,

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