The Measure of Reality
‘Funny, mordantly sexy, witty, true. These fragments of a life lived curiously perch somewhere between psychoanalysis and fiction, where strange desires play out through illness and romance, and both start to resemble each other (as perhaps they always did).’ – Nina Power
Fantasies and dreams are a way of accessing hidden dimensions of everyday experience, but what happens when you can’t fantasise? In this work of analytic fiction, creative and heterosexual crises unfold, shaped by the anxieties of our time. Social and economic pressures are almost crippling, yet meticulously understood – obsessively decrypted and re-encrypted by Timonen’s unnamed female protagonist who subjects everyday occurrences and encounters to absurd levels of scrutiny and interpretation, often with recourse to theory. Short story chapters, captioned in a manner reminiscent of episodes of Seinfeld, are interspersed with a letter, a list of forgotten browser tabs, a treatment for an unmade film and a variety of dating scenarios.
In one of these, speed daters smell T-shirts as the narrator desperately tries to account for an alarming absence of desire. The specificities of love and sex are shown simultaneously in Timonen’s project to be something genuinely ‘ours’ yet alienating. They act as both tools for the negotiation of the complexities of subject/object relations in contemporary capitalism and constitute a kind of precarious – even false – refuge from the trauma of living in it.