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OFF Series

The Center for Contemporary Art is proud to present the third season of the OFF Series, evenings of classic 16 mm experimental cinema and video art from the 1980s until today.

OFF 3, curated by Chen Sheinberg, will be held monthly starting in February 2013 and will include six programs of work by Andy Warhol, Joseph Cornell, Jonas Mekas, Bruce Conner, Marie Menken, and a tribute to Susan Sontag.

Upcoming Screening – “Notes on ‘Camp'” – Homage to Susan Sontag Tel Aviv Cinematheque: July 31, 9:00pm | Tickets

“Notes on ‘Camp'” is the title of Susan Sontag’s groundbreaking seminal 1964 essay. The essay created a sensation of sorts by introducing the concept of Camp and its plethora of cultural connotations to mainstream audiences.

Sontag defines “camp” as a modern phenomenon and sensitivity epitomized by its “love of the unnatural, of artifice and exaggeration” and of the stylized. The “camp,” she contends, is esoteric – a sort of “private code, a badge of identity […], among small urban cliques.” According to Sontag, “Camp art is often decorative art, emphasizing texture, sensuous surface and style at the expense of content.”1

Camp films are self-conscious, extravagant, ironic, iconoclastically anti-bourgeois and amoral celebrations of bad taste. The evening program will include three Camp-related avant-garde films from the 1950s and 1960s that are infused with “camp” spirit.

Two years after the publication of Sontag’s essay, American underground filmmaker George Kuchar (1942-2011) released his “Hold Me While I’m Naked” (1966). With its radicalized artificial filmic approach, overacting, superfluous and lush colorfulness and tawdry sets and customs, this film would become one of the defining texts of Camp.

A year earlier, George Kuchar’s twin brother, Mike, made the low-budget classical campy sci-fi “Sins of the Fleshapoids”, which will also be screened during the evening. The deliberately untenable plot of the movie describes a revolt staged by androids, a million years in the future, against their human masters, who have become too lazy. The film is considered a major influence on cult director John Waters’ camp aesthetics.

In addition, the underground masterpiece “Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome” (1954), a forerunner of camp, will also be screened. The Kuchar brothers were influenced tremendously by that film and by its director, avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger. In turn, Anger himself was greatly inspired by the philosophy of English occultist Aleister Crowley while making his visual psychedelic symphony, in which Lord Shiva plays host to various mythological creatures in his pleasure dome.

The screening will open with a lecture by series curator Chen Scheinberg.

OFF Series – Part IIITel Aviv CinemathequeJerusalem CinemathequeAndy Warhol – Screen Tests27.2.20133.3.2013The Films of Joseph Cornell20.3.201324.3.2013Jonas Mekas’s films17.4.201321.4.2013Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf? – Films of Marie Menken & Willard Maas29.5.201326.5.2013The Films of Bruce Conner26.6.201323.6.2013Notes on Camp – Homage to Susan Sontag31.7.201328.7.2013

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