Critical Writing Index

"A joke's a very serious thing": Subversive Camp Humour in Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay's Video Art

by Wendy L. Moir

Carelton University - M.A. Dissertation, 2010, pp. 1-111

This thesis examines the video art of Montreal born artist Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay. When the artist found himself struggling to articulate his gay identity, the impact of homophobia on his psyche, and the misery of heartbreak, he turned to song lyrics to express himself. Through an examination of the stories that Nemerofsky Ramsay recounts, the songs he chooses as vehicles, and the existing music models he appropriates as a means of expression, the author illustrates the politically charged nature of his artistic practice. The author argues that the artist strategically employs subversive Camp humour as a means to attract, engage, and educate his viewers while confronting them with issues of gendered identity, homophobia, restrictive heterosexual institutional quos, and a lack of queer representation in the mainstream. This thesis further examines how and why the artist chooses popular music and musical forms as a vehicle of expression.

ITEM 2010.119 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay