#29PlaysLater Brief 6 | Art

silhouette of man standing against black and red background
Photo by Elti Meshau on Pexels.com

A coffee shop. Daytime.

 

Art sits at a table. He is reading. He laughs occasionally.

 

Sara enters holding her phone. She peers at her screen. Pinches the screen to zoom in on something. Holds up the phone. She looks around, seeing Art. She peers at the phone again.

 

Sara walks up to the table.

 

Sara: Art?

 

Art looks up. He smiles widely.

 

Art: Why yes I am.

Sara: Sara?

Art: Yes. Of course.

 

Sara hovers.

 

Art: Forgive me. Prithee sit.

 

Sara pulls out a chair and sits opposite Art. She’s peering at him.

 

Art: Am I not magnificent?

Sara: No. I mean, yes. I mean… You’re not what I expected.

Art: Fear not. I can be overwhelming.

 

Pause.

 

Art: So you wanted to talk?

Sara: I wanted to meet you.

Art: And here I am.

Sara: And here you are.

 

Pause.

 

Sara: What were you reading?

Art: Fear of Flying. Erica Jong. Hilarious.

Sara: It’s funny.

Art: God yes. I mean – a woman – writing – about – Lady things. Very sweet. Very amusing.

Sara: I don’t remember it being funny.

Art: Bless you.

Sara: Thank you?

Art: You’re welcome.

 

Art clicks his fingers. A referential hipster delivers a fresh cup of coffee, takes the old cup and scuttles away again.

 

Pause.

 

Sara: Do you come here often?

Art: oh yes. I love the buzz. All those eager young people with laptops. You must feel it. It’s like electricity.

Sara: Surely that’s the caffeine.

Art: No. it’s the creation. Most of them will never achieve anything poor dears but it’s the effort that really counts.

 

Sara shifts in her seat.

 

Art: But back to you… it’s been a long time since I got summoned.

Sara: When was the last time. 1973. Mougins.

 

Beat.

 

Art: That’s France.

Sara: I see.

Art: Dearest Pablo. We would spend hours drinking and smoking and rearranging Dora’s face.

Sara: Picasso was the last man to summon Art?

Art: God yes. Have you seen the shit they’ve turned out since then? I gave up with the lots of them when they started pickling sharks and putting their beds in galleries.

Sara: You don’t like modern art, Art?

Art: My girl. When you have seen what I’ve seen. The cistene chapel, for god’s sake. Now anyone with a iPad and a fancy electric pen thinks they are an artist. Bend some neon tube and job done.

Sara: But what about music? Literature? Theatre?

Art: Theatre isn’t an art. It’s entertainment for whores and vagabonds. It’s the intellectual equivalent of having a wank.

 

Pause.

 

Art: I’ve shocked you-

Sara: No-

Art: You’re disappointed.

 

Pause.

 

Sara: I wanted to talk about poetry and songs. I wanted you to tell me the secret.

Art: The secret.

Sara: How to be great?

 

Art bursts out laugh.

 

Sara: What?

Art: That’s grotesquely predictable. Every artists whatever time whatever medium has asked the same thing.

Sara: And?

Art: I am Art. I am great. I do not need to be made great.

Sara: So basically – what you’re telling me is – that you, the personification of Art – you – are an asshole.

Art: I am what I am. I am neither useful or necessary yet I am fundamental and vital.

Sara: You’re a jerk.

 

Pause.

 

Art: Let me give you some advice.

 

Beat.

 

Art: I’ll say the same thing to you as I did to Alcott, and that Aphra Behn woman… ooooo and that one with the eyebrows-

Sara: Frida Kahlo-

Art: Bloody awful woman. Smelt like a llama.

Sara: What did you say to them?

 

Beat.

 

Art: Go home.

Sara: Go home?

Art: Marry a man, have babies. Don’t try to do something you’re not built for. If you must, do what I suggested to Wolf and get a room of your own. But just give up. This is a man’s world. The art world. You all get wombs. You want to make something, use that. But true Art, great Art, that’s a job for the boys.

 

Pause.

 

Art sits back in his chair.

 

Pause.

 

Sara grabs the cup of coffee and throws it in his face.

 

Sara: Fuck. You.

 

Sara storms out the coffee shop.

 

Art wipes the coffee from his face. He sucks his fingers indulgently. He smiles.

 

Art clicks his fingers. The hipster runs over with a fresh cup before backing away.

 

Art takes a sip of his coffee. He picks up his book and starts to read.

 

Slow fade to blackout.

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