Dandy in the afterworld - Macleans.ca

Dandy in the afterworld


Post-Wildean British artist/writer/dandy Sebastian Horsley has died of an apparent heroin overdose. The good people at Q have reposted an interview Jian did with Horsley two years ago. It’s an amazing bit of performance art, from the very start, and almost everything out of Horsley’s mouth is quotable. I especially like the exchange that starts just after the six minute mark, when Jian asks why Horsley didn’t just put his memoir online for all to read. Horsley responds that ‘The internet is loser central, and it is basically replacing masturbation as a leisure activity.” Then comes this:

Q: You once said, “It’s better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not.” What do you mean by that?

SH: Do you like me?

Q: I think I kind of like you.

SH: Well then I’ll tell you what I mean, my dear.

What follows is a gorgeous defence of live lived as an open book. Turn off the soccer for a few minutes and give it a listen.

Related reading: In Praise of Gossip.

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Dandy in the afterworld

  1. The internet is loser central, and it is basically replacing masturbation as a leisure activity.

    Some of the internet may be doing that. I think the majority though is actually enhancing masturbation as a leisure activity.

  2. The world is no longer safe for Peacocks, I fear.

  3. After reading the wiki article on him, I was interested by the fact that he had himself crucified. I looked them up, and the four paintings I saw to my surprise (based on the rest of his personality and affiliations) that it wasn't obviously blasphemous.

    Of course, even if they were I doubt I could have summoned up much outrage. The guy had himself crucified which is definitely ballsy enough to forgive the blasphemy. I think this could be a good compromise actually. If the people want to prove how "edgy" they are by doing a blasphemous image of Christ on the cross, they can crucify themselves. Then we won't get mad, and they won't have to worry about how persecuted they are because we got mad.

  4. Sounds like a fair deal to me. Also I think that any artist who wants to do a "Piss Christ" display should make himself integral to the display by being the figure in the urine.

    • I'm glad you got my point, even though I badly mangled that first paragraph.

      • Loosen up, fellas. It's just Christ in piss. And it was 30 years ago; how long are you going to carry that around with you?

        • We're just suggesting a way insufferable provocateurs can be provocative without us being mad. I would have thought that getting us mad was the entire point, but they always seem to be upset that we are "intolerant to their artistic vision" and "they aren't intending to cause offense".

          So here is a way we can satisfy both their need for artistic vision of being offensive, and their desire for us to not actually be offended. I think we've solved that paradox here.

          • And I'm just suggesting that if it's so obvious that all they're trying to do is get a rise out of you, you shouldn't give them the satisfaction.

          • You do realize I'm just trying to get a rise out of people too, right?

      • Ezro, I just got and responded to your email from last month. Let me know what you think.

  5. I will miss you Seby,what I can do now with out you on the Sauna, no more ours fantastic conversattion and a ex cange of ideea.. You will promise to came to my to see your show and now I need to go alone, but I know you will by next to me.. Seby I miss you I miss you shave in the sauna and wend you call me ( hey Wife ), now you are a STAR forever.. I still love you and I will live you for my life. Yours Radamiz

  6. It may well be loser central, but Mr. Died With His Face Against The Floorboards With A Needle Stuck In His Arm doesn't exactly have a monopoly on victory either.

  7. I just came across a great obit in Brit paper. I love British obits – they can be rude and loving at same time.

    "Horsley, after all, was a former male escort, who had lived with a gangster and wrote openly about his drug abuse and brothel habit, claiming to have slept with more than 1,000 prostitutes. He wrote in one column: "All I know most surely about morality and love, I owe to whoring." While an email implored: "Don't tell my mother I work as a journalist. She thinks I'm a prostitute."

    When his writing for the Erotic Review became source material for his acclaimed memoir, Dandy in the Underworld, he wrote and told me his preferred title was, Mein Camp: The Unauthorised Autobiography of a Dandy. Understandably, the publishers demurred."

    "Turn off the soccer for a few minutes and give it a listen."

    Should have listened to you. England were awful, it was painful to watch.