Le Laocoon en icône queer et camp

Enjeux esthétiques, culturels, politiques

  • Michel Briand Université de Poitiers
Keywords: Anachronism, Camp, Classical Reception, Gay, Danil Golovkin, Laocoon, Kent Monkman, Queer, Richard Wallace


The Laocoön group, a famous source of inspiration for modern artists and a crucial masterpiece for historians of art and philosophers, is also a popular figure in queer contemporary art and culture, both distorted and celebrated through camp performative devices. After remarks about 1. “queer gaze” and the complex relation of queer or LGBTQIA+ culture and politics to the dialectics of kitsch/camp and classical / contemporary / pop art, and 2. (not straight but) queer classics, using “anachronisme raisonné” (Loraux”) and “écart” (Dupont), this article focuses on case studies from the 2010’s: 1. The untold gay history of Vatican guided tour; the music video Falling, by the “queer cowboy” Drew Beckman. 2. Paintings by Richard Wallace (esp. Laocoön); photographic series of Danil Golovkin (Modern Heroes : Photographing Bodybuilders in the Digital Age), 3. Julien Servy (Collages : Photo vs. Statues) ; the design firm modern8 (for the 2017 Utah Pride Festival). 4. The indigenous Canadian artist Kent Monkman, who, in paintings (The Academy), performances, installations, altogether stages and questions the violence of historical and cultural colonization and its impact on issues of gender and identity, and promotes dynamic interactions of aesthetics and politics, as well of pathos and camp.