No Dandy, No Fun is a book-essay published as a sequel to the exhibition of the same name held at the Kunsthalle Bern, Germany, in 2021.
The book examines the phenomenon of the iconic and enigmatic but long-dead image of the dandy, who first appears at the beginning of the nineteenth century and reappears at intervals, or more accurately, times of crisis or social transformation.
The book describes him thus: 'As the old order collapses, the dandy makes no claim to be leading an exemplary life. He does not defend property or privileges. He finds conflicts over the distribution of goods distasteful. To the dandy, any kind of war, even a war of liberation, seems an affair of the benighted, of those who don’t realise that the only point of putting on a uniform is to look good in it. As an ascetic, he has always been in favour of less of everything, and opposed to any claims to novelty, which generally prove to be little more than advertising for a new product. The dandy doesn’t ask how he wants to live; he lives, albeit with a sad countenance. He proposes no solutions, and denounces nothing as false – since he makes no declarations of any kind. He simply plays a different game.'
No Dandy, No Fun follows the traces of this masquerade ball, 'moving among accounts of lives as they were lived, literary sketches and performances in the visual arts down to the present day. In a time of transition, it sifts through tactics in order to find a way towards a self-determined future.'
Sternberg Press, 232pp, 12cm x 18cm, illustrated paper back, English text, 2023
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