Emma Welton (QMUL) - 2021-22 Students

Camp Critique: Queer Performance, Austerity and British Live Art (2010-present)

My project examines how queer performance has responded to the material extremes of scarcity and excess which constitute austerity time. Recontextualising ‘camp’ away from Susan Sontag’s notion of it as an apolitical aesthetic, I propose that queer performers utilise a camp modality to challenge the naturalisation of privation and restraint as necessary socioeconomic controls, and with it, entrenched linear temporal logics of productive time. Queer performers, instead, practice abundant models of cultural production with limited material means. I theorise camp as a performative approach which actualises alternate possibilities to productive time and the politics of unequal deprivation under austerity.

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