by Barbara METER
1970 / 16mm / color / sound / 1S / 4' 00
This is a shot, counter-shot film that creates a conversation without words between a woman, Barbara Meter, and a man, experimental filmmaker, Jos Schoffelen. The film proposes a dialogue deafened by a chord from a Mahler symphony. These tunes are played through two reel-to-reel tape recorders, looped and reedited. The unsuccessful delivery of words leaves room to another kind of language —the cinematic expression. Juxtapositions, light flares, rapid zooms, and overall movement transmit a series of feelings that would have been buried otherwise by words. Breaking away from narrative rules, leaning towards image and sound abstractions, and exposing the materiality of celluloid, the film gets closer to the core of what the artist hopes to communicate. As a stylistic counterpoint, in 1994, Meter made Penelope, where the voice of a woman, who we never get to see, talks to an invisible man about the frustrations of their lack of understanding. The woman’s voice was taken from a Hollywood film from the 1950s. Meter manipulated this recording, repeating it, fading it in and out, and varying its volume to denote the different degrees of female acceptance towards imposed roles of waiting and longing.
- Mónica Savirón