Uncovering Camouflage

generic of camouflage AP (file)

Camouflage is as old as nature. Animals use it to blend in to their environments — to hide in plain sight.

It's about visual deception, explains CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Serena Altschul.

Modern military camouflage was first used in World War I, to help give soldiers better cover. Artists were commissioned to create the designs on the uniforms.

"Well of course it's a great paradox, because the military use of camouflage might be to hide, but the fashion use of camouflage is to appear," says Nicholas Baume.

"The only reason I wear it is because it's comfortable," one woman tells Altschul while shopping. The woman adds that she loves the pattern. "It's quite fashionable," she says.

If you want to see this fashion trend taken to an extreme, camouflage covers every inch of space at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. It's all the work of artist Thomas Hirschhorn. Baume is the curator.

"From the floors to these mobiles, the walls are literally made of camouflage. He's explored it like a scientist," Baume says of Hirschhorn.

The museum display can be dizzying, Altschul remarks.

"What does he want visitors to experience when they sit on a camouflage couch?" Altschul asks Baume.
  • Sean Alfano

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