Katharina Bosse: New Burlesque
Photographs by Katharina Bosse. Text by CĒcile Camart.
Before it was a show business genre, burlesque was an attitude. It was parody, outrageousness, exaggeration, pastiche--even grotesquerie. If in 19th- and 20th-century America the term came to signify a variety show of light comedy, dance, and strip tease, eventually descending to a plateau of triviality, cheap sexuality, and predictable gaudy costumes, it has now--Woo Hoo! Ladies!--been resuscitated. (It's amazing what a feminist revolution can accomplish when pasties and sequins are introduced.) In New Burlesque, Katharina Bosse takes a trip across the United States to meet and document every proponent of the unabashed renaissance that she can get her camera lens around. Her colorful series of let-it-all-hang-out portraits of Babette la Fave, Kitten DeVille, Kitty Crimson, Ruby Darling, Dirty Martini, D'Milo, Starlet O'Hara, Scarlette Fever, Ursulina, and their many sisters give a wild, wicked stage to the very grown-up darlings of a new century. Whether pictured in a saloon or a kitchen, by the side of a country road or in front of a parking lot, these dames show it just how they please.