Play-a-week Project

1-13-19

WIMBLEDON STARBUCK
Thank you all for coming. We are very excited to have Julianne Inches as our speaker this evening. As you know, she is an expert in the field. She has written books on the field, she has co-authored research papers on the field, and, most recently, she has written a treatise on the field, which is forthcoming from Randomhouse, this spring. Everybody, please join me in welcoming Ms. Inches.

(Thunderous applause).  

JULIANNE INCHES
(Leans into the mic)
Hello.

WIMBLEDON STARBUCK
Hello, Julianne, we’re so happy to have you here this evening.

JULIANNE
Glad to be here.  

WIMBLEDON
So, you have really made some groundbreaking observations, critiques—what would you call them? 

JULIANNE
I like to use the term ‘illuminated perceptions’

WIMBLEDON
Mmmmmm, mhm, mhm
Some illuminated perceptions about this recently surfaced work of art, a photo from the year 2020.  

JULIANNE
2019.  

WIMBLEDON
Oh was it 2019?

JULIANNE
Yes, it was.  

WIMBLEDON
Oh, well, see that’s why we have an expert here tonight, Julianne Inches, everyone!

 (Everyone claps.)

WIMBLEDON
OK so let’s get this amazing piece of photographic art up on the screen, shall we?

(WIMBLEDON turns to face the screen. Nothing happens.)

Hmm.
Let’s give it a sec.

(They do.)

OK.
Sandra? Sandra are you up in the booth?  

SANDRA
(From the booth)
Yes. Just some—
Just some technical difficulties here with the—
Give me two minutes.  

WIMBLEDON
OK!
Well while we wait, Julianne, would you tell us how you first became interested in this piece in particular? 

JULIANNE
Sure, yes.
So the first time I came across this piece in particular was at an auction. Historically, my family has attended these auctions once or twice a year, and it’s a big family tradition. So we all go, well before we go we get the catalogues and we sit around the dining room table flipping through the catalogue and sort of having a family discussion about which pieces touch us, you know which pieces we feel speak to us as individuals but also as a family unit. So we were flipping through the catalogue and I came across this piece and I thought, whoa. It was one of those things where it calls out to you, you know?

SANDRA
We have a connection.

WIMBLEDON
Oh, excellent!
Yes OK let’s put the piece up.

 (The photograph appears on the projector. It’s an ass.)

WIMBLEDON
Hmmm....

JULIANNE
Exactly, exactly, I thought, hmmmm, I have this, I know this, this is me, you know? This speaks to me.

WIMBLEDON
Mhm, mhm.
The ass.
It’s an ass, right?
Like a human...butt?

JULIANNE
Wimbledon, I think sometimes people get caught up in the divisiveness and definitions we have nowadays, and they need something to unite them, you know? The forest gets lost in the trees / and

WIMBLEDON
Is that—? 

JULIANNE
And it becomes hard to remember that I am a tree, and you are a tree, and uh the only difference is that I am a birch and you are a sequoia. But we are both trees. 

WIMBLEDON
...Yes but then there are forest fires.  

JULIANNE
Yes.

WIMBLEDON
Yes? 

JULIANNE
Yes.

WIMBLEDON
...Yes.
So.
I have an epistemological question.

JULIANNE
Yes?

WIMBLEDON
And that question is: “Why ass?”

JULIANNE
Yes.  

WIMBLEDON
You know? 

JULIANNE
Yes.  

WIMBLEDON
Further—

JULIANNE
Yes?

WIMBLEDON
Further—how ass?

JULIANNE
So—and first of all, thank you, because these are very brave questions that people don’t always have the courage to voice—so I think, when it comes to a piece of art like this...I’m going to let you in on a little secret about the artist’s process in making this piece.  

WIMBLEDON
Oh? 

JULIANNE
It farts.

WIMBLEDON
NO.

JULIANNE
Yes, it farts.
It farts and that is what they don’t want to tell you, you know? That is what we are all thinking but nobody will say out loud.

WIMBLEDON
So brave. 

JULIANNE
Thank you.  

WIMBLEDON
Such brave artistic insight.  

JULIANNE
Thank you.

WIMBLEDON
Julianne Inches, everyone!!!
Thank you for joining us tonight.  

JULIANNE
Thank you.  

WIMBLEDON
Thank you.  

JULIANNE
Thank you.

WIMBLEDON
No, thank you, because sometimes you listen to your hero speak and they’re not as eloquent as you thought they’d be.
And that’s reassuring.

Elise Wien