‘Romance Utopia’ displays some of the outcomes of Romy Day Winkel’s research project: a search for, and making of, romantic ruins. Its main question is how to ‘save’ romance from being instrumentalized for boring or harmful purposes and instead aims to steer it into a radical direction. Winkel has carried out this research through writing, collecting and curating imagery and text, setting up a workshop series, doing interviews, and working with audio. It is never quite finished, as looking for romance is always already a failed project, but that is kind of the point.
In the first text, Winkel sets out her main methodology and argument. Throughout the rest of the book you will find visual works by artists Dagmar Bosma, Mafalda Costa, Mónica Mays and Becket MWN, in whose work she has located an aesthetic of romantic ruination. The second text is an interview with writer and artist Geraldine Snell, whose book ‘overlove’ (2018) interested Winkel deeply as its protagonist performs a type of obsessive romantic pursuit. In ‘A gesture: I had a dream about you’ Winkel investigates the possibility of dream sharing as a romantic gesture. The fourth text in this book is a writing prompt and essay about love tokens that Winkel has written for Terrarista.TV in Kassel and afterwards altered for Read My World festival’s feminist journal writing workshop series. The aim of the prompt is to leave you with a (written) object that will meander beyond the words and images of this publication.
The launch of ‘Romance Utopia’ coincides with a love token writing workshop, organised by Romy Day Winkel at San Serriffe.