Mein Camp

A Lecture Demonstration
“I want to be one of the boys. A regular guy”
(Bing Crosby in the Road to Singapore)

The fear of homosexuality drives many cultural representations of masculinity; positive masculine identification is so hysterically tied up with an obsession with not being homosexual that – rather like the ultimate conundrum offered by the ‘The Sexual Aberrations’ (Freud 1905) being that perversity is the ultimate normality- homosexuality, through needing to be systematically repressed, becomes the sine qua non of masculinity. In so many narratives the man’s fear is the fear of an externalized ‘other’ that is actually, as it turns out, the embodiment of his own perceived internal inadequacies, most significantly homosexuality. (in the History of Sexuality Michel Foucault referred to fetishism as ‘the model perversion’, but as far as masculinity is concerned, this is homosexuality.)
Is there any necessary relation between the aesthetic, the sexual, the psychological, and the political? Is subjectivity purely ideological? How does heterocentrism inhere in the very model through which desire is conceptualized? Does psychoanalysis valorize an illusion of interiority and urge us to privatize or individualize phenomena that are more radically social and political? To what extent do theories of subjectivity produce the viewing experiences they claim to demystify? Can psychoanalysis be a critical apparatus for interpreting films when it is already a self-conscious narrative gimmick for making them? Is the erotic-as opposed to say, the socioeconomic, the ethnic, the racial-always the constitutive or primary site of spectatorial pleasure and subject formation?
Mein Camp traces the history of sexual representation through various films and narratives. From camp to porn, from Hollywood hits to underground classics. After all, cinema, especially Hollywood cinema, despite its history of censorship and its pretense to heterocentrism, is one of the queerest things ever invented. To trace the logic of its interpellations of queerness is an exercise in being inside and out at the same time.

Conceived and performed by Yosi Wanunu, Anna Mendelssohn, Cezary Tomaszewski
Produced by Kornelia Kilga
Co-production with KiG Kultur in Graz
Performance dates: Oct 16 + 17, 2009 Theater am Lend Graz and May 27 + 28, brut Konzerthaus, Vienna