[Screening] Two by Deborah Stratman: “Last Things” and “For the Time Being”
Fri, Feb 16, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


We are thrilled to be able to present two recent works from filmmaker Deborah Stratman, in conjunction with our current exhibition, On the Verge.

Last Things, Stratman’s most recent film and already the recipient of multiple awards, looks at evolution and extinction from the perspective of the rocks and minerals that came before humanity and will outlast us. With scientists and thinkers like Lynn Margulis and Marcia Bjørnerud as guides and quoting from the proto-Sci-fi texts of J.H. Rosny, Deborah Stratman offers a stunning array of images, from microscopic forms to vast landscapes, and seeks a picture of evolution without humans at the center. Stratman writes, “The project originated from two novellas of J.-H. Rosny, the joint pseudonym of the Belgian brothers Boex who wrote on natural, prehistoric and speculative subjects—sci fi before it was a genre. The film takes up their pluralist vision of evolution, where imagining prehistory is inseparable from envisioning the future. Also central are Roger Caillois’ writing on stones, Robert Hazen’s theory of Mineral Evolution, Clarice Lispector’s Hour of the Star, the Symbiosis theory of Lynn Margulis, multi-species scenarios of Donna Haraway, Hazel Barton’s research on cave microbes and Marcia Bjørnerud’s thoughts on time literacy. In one way or another, these thinkers have all sought to displace humankind and human reason from the center of evolutionary processes. Passages from Rosny and interviews with Bjørnerud form the film’s science-fictional / science-factual spine. Stones are its anchor. To touch stone is to meet alien duration. We trust stone as archive, but we may as well write on water. In the end, it’s particles that remain.”

Watch a trailer of Last Things here.

Read an interview with Stratman in Documentary Magazine

The screening will be preceded by Stratman’s 2021 short, For the Time Being, which she describes as “A video letter to artist Nancy Holt, in homage to our shared interest in terminal lakes, framed views, monuments and time. Filmed on and around the Great Salt Lake, Mono Lake and Meteor Crater. The title is taken from a piece Holt wrote for Robert Smithson in 1978 which reads in full: For the time being, in the interim, in the course of time, from day to day, from hour to hour, until, in due time, and in the fullness of time, time endures, goes on, remains, persists, lasts, goes by, elapses, passes, flows, rolls on, flies, slips, slides, and glides by.”

Doors open at 6:30
Suggested donation: $5-$10
first come, first seated

image: a still from Deborah Stratman’s Last Things. Courtesy of Cinema Guild.