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April 2012, arsenal cinema

Camp/Anti-Camp: Tropicamp & Jack Smith, Tropicana, Kuchar & Warhol


In April, we continue a season to prepare ourselves for the "Camp / Anti-Camp: A Queer Guide to Everyday Life" festival (19.–21. April, HAU) curated by Susanne Sachsse and Marc Siegel. The academic Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz has designated Tropicamp as one of the festival's main focuses. The term, which was coined by Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica to express his fascination for the anti-commercial trends in the US' underground movie scene (especially in the works of Mario Montez and Jack Smith), will shed an international light on the camp debate. In the "What is Tropicamp" program, Hinderer Cruz and Marc Siegel will juxtapose film clips from the Brazilian Tropicalía movement (e.g. Oiticica, Ivan Cardoso) with excerpts from American underground movies. (3.4.)

THE DEVIL'S CLEAVAGE (1975, 9.4.) is one of the best melodramas made by George Kuchar, the underground filmmaker and master of stylized and emotional low-budget productions, who died in fall 2011. Kuchar's brilliant dialogue, which transcends clichés, tells the story of an adulterous nurse who has a penchant for fake vomit and a melancholy motel owner. Since "Camp/Anti-Camp" is a continuation of the discourse that began at the LIVE FILM! JACK SMITH! Festival, we are glad to present a long evening of newly-restored prints of Jack Smith's complete works. (13.4.) Responding to Susan Sontag's essay "Notes on 'Camp'" in 1965, Andy Warhol gathered his superstars around him to film a kind of Art Factory variety show. In CAMP we see the magnificent appearances of Jack Smith, Mario Montez, Paul Swan and Tally Brown. CARMELITA TROPICANA: YOUR KUNST IS YOUR WAFFEN will be shown before the feature-length film. This Lower East Side musical stars Carmelita Tropicana in the main role – she will also attend the festival (16.4.).