September 2008. Alice is 34, a Quebec artist working in London, England. During her residency there, Lehman Brothers, where her friend Laurence works, goes bankrupt. And that same evening, she attends an auction by Damien Hirst. Gregory Monroe, an art collector and hedge fund manager, is also at the auction—and their lives will never be the same again.
As the financial crisis strikes and two worlds collide, this love story explores the darkest corners of the contemporary art scene, the global economy, and two broken hearts.
A play about love, art & the 2008 financial crisis
A World Literature Today Notable Translation for 2020
Critics’ Choice Award, Quebec Association of Theatre Critics (AQCT): Best Show and Best Text
Written by Véronique Coté | Jean-Michel Girouard | Jean-Philippe Joubert | Simon Lepage | Danielle Le Saux-Farmer | Marianne Marceau | Olivier Normand | Pascale Renaud-Hébert
Translated by Danielle Le Saux-Farmer
208 pages • 978-1-77186-211-0 • 8″ x 5″
AVAILABLE IN ALL FORMATS
Publication Date: April 1, 2020
Towards the end of the 18th century, twenty-four traders would meet under a tree to buy and sell shares. The tree was located at 68 Wall Street, so called because of a wall that used to mark the northern limits of the colony of New Amsterdam, on the Island of Manhattan.
On May 17, 1792, the twenty-four brokers signed, beneath the tree, the Buttonwood Agreement. This marked the foundation of the New York Stock Exchange, and the birth of Wall Street.
Today, the tree on Wall Street has long since fallen. And the twenty-four traders’ transactions, brokered in the shade of a plane tree, have become complex to the point of being almost intangible and immaterial.
Finance has become an abstraction. And it pervades every sphere of our lives. Including contemporary art. Especially contemporary art.
PRAISE FOR THE ART OF THE FALL
“What makes art valuable? How do we value art? How do we value ourselves? These are the themes that run through The Art of the Fall, a compelling and engaging play that dissects the financial crisis of 2008 through the lens of the contemporary art world. […] The Art of the Fall left me disturbed, enlightened, and seriously questioning the value of art in a world where a shark in formaldehyde can be worth twelve million dollars.” (Alexandria Haber, Montreal Review of Books)
“QC Fiction pride themselves on doing things differently (c.f. the short-story collection I Never Talk About It), and their latest release is another step off the well-worn fiction-in-translation path. It’s a venture into drama, with a translation of a play exploring the connection between art and money, supply and demand, and the dark arts of making a profit from the misfortune of others. […] intriguing.” (Tony Malone, Tony’s Reading List)
“I was swept along from Quebec to London to New York, learning about the volatile world of finance and the contemporary art world […] The relationship between Alice and Greg (which echoes the relationship between art and finance) is intense, tempestuous, and all-too-brief. Entertaining and informative, The Art of the Fall is well worth a read.” (James Fisher, The Miramichi Reader)
“Virtually every scene reveals the workings of the art world or unpacks an economic episode or principle. […] The play has the rhythm and complexity of the finest stories, the inventiveness and zaniness of a saga. We can almost never predict how the story will unfold.” (Josianne Desloges, Le Soleil newspaper)
“This remarkable production proposes an emotional but rational incursion into the surreal world of big business. […] The audience leaves the play with its head full of ideas, emotions, and powerful images that won’t let go.” (Alain-Martin Richard, Jeu theatre review magazine)
“[The Art of the Fall] brings together an impressive collective of creative minds around the themes of art and the economy: are these spheres really so very far removed from one another? Cerebral and dry though the premise might first appear, the result is nevertheless a performance of remarkable depth.” (Simon Lambert, Le Devoir newspaper)
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR
Danielle Le Saux-Farmer has starred in and directed critically acclaimed and nationally touring plays and is now artistic director of one of Ontario’s most prominent francophone theatre companies, Théâtre la Catapulte. As one of the play’s writers in the original French version, she was well placed to translate the story into English.
OUR COMMITMENT TO DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY
✓ A first play in translation from QC Fiction