Love is love, but not really. To recognize love as love we need comprehensible images. What are those contemporary images that help us identify love and how could we identify love differently, figuring it as less defined by safety procedures, measured commitment and feelings of ownership and entitlement? Playing Monogamy refuses to see personal relationships as safe havens where people can hide from the precarities of society, and instead proposes to make public life more intimate and romantic.
Through a contemporary rereading of the cult of monogamy, Van Saarloos playfully queers the way in which the structure of monogamy is upheld through social convention within Western contexts. Written for more of a lay audience, the book proposes an expanded and polyamorous engagement with intimacy and sexuality as a possible alternative.
After a tour through the US and Canada in September, writer Simon(e) van Saarloos now lands in NYC to launch their book at the Bureau. After an introductory talk, there will be ample time for a Q&A and an exchange.
Copies of Playing Monogamy will be available for purchase at the Bureau. To reserve a copy please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please support the Bureau by buying books from us. Thank you!
“Playing Monogamy pushes for the bolder and deeper challenges to our current systems of family, relationships and intimacy. The time is right for this book and this argument. Simon(e) van Saarloos’s elegant account of romance, love and sex outside of the couple form allows us to imagine life beyond the iron grip of monogamy.”
— Jack Halberstam, author of Gaga Feminism
“It is a thrill to live at a time when words and the ideologies that underpin them have re/entered the vernacular. Playing Monogamy puts patriarchy, capitalism, and monogamy – long unquestioned pillars of “the way things are” – to the test, unpacks them and declares them the faulty defaults they are. Simon(e) van Saarloos writes urgently and poignantly for all of us who refuse to play along with those defaults. Playing Monogamy teases out the privilege and the power that underpin assumptions of how intimacy should behave. It tempts and challenges those who have long chafed under them: come out and play!”
— Mona Eltahawy, author of The Seven Necessary Sins For Women and Girls
“Monogamy and other prevailing models of romantic coupleship will be dethroned as biological ideals, must be disrupted as norms or we will continue to do harm within their default capitalist framework. We must love more, own less. Use this book as a deprogramming tool, use it quick.”
— Viva Ruiz, founder of Thank God For Abortion
Simon(e) van Saarloos (1990, Summit, New Jersey) is a writer, philosopher and performer living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. They published several books in Dutch including Ik deug / deug niet (a collection of columns originally published in the Dutch national news- paper NRC), De vrouw die (a novel about a molecular biologist running the NYC marathon in a burqa), Enz. Het Wildersproces (a feminist and queer report of the trial against the Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders) and Herdenken herdacht, a non-fiction work about queer forgetfulness, white erasure and embodied commemoration. Simon(e) also writes and performs theatre and regularly appears on stage as a lecturer and interviewer. Currently, they are a MA student at the Dutch Art Institute. Their recent artist residencies include the Deltaworkers in New Orleans, the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience in Delft and at IKSV in Istanbul.
This book is printed by Publication Studio (founded in Portland, Oregon, in 2009) prints and binds books one at a time on-demand, creating original work with artists and writers we admire. “Working within an international network of eleven sister studios—who together share in the weight of global distribution—we use any means possible to help writers and artists reach a public: physical books, an online library, eBooks and unique social events with our writers and artists in many cities.”