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Not a matter of if but when

Film/Video

Images courtesy of Julia Meltzer and David Thorne

Not a matter of if but when
Julia Meltzer and David Thorne (with Rami Farah), 2006

In 2005–06, during a year spent living in Damascus, Syria, artists Julia Meltzer and David Thorne worked with Syrian performer Rami Farah, recording short improvised sequences in which Farah responded to a prompt or a text.

The result is a combination of direct address and fantastical narrative in which Farah’s improvisations speak to living in a condition of uncertainty, chaos, and stasis. Based in Los Angeles, the two artists previously collaborated under the name The Speculative Archive. The full title of this piece is Not a matter of if but when: brief records of a time when expectations were repeatedly raised and lowered and people grew exhausted from never knowing if the moment was at hand or was still to come. (32 mins., video)