by Barbara METER
1972 / 16mm / color / sound / 2S / 6' 00
Faces of filmmaker friends pass by in - initially - quickly edited, split-screen recordings. 'Structuralistic film', in which the film material itself plays an important role. Grain, scratches and flickering give the film texture. The music is by Steve Reich.
Alternating one, two, and four screens, Meter features close-ups of artists Sally Potter, Mattijn Seip, Pim van Isveldt, and Mike Dunford from different angles and at fast speed. At the end, a wide, complex portrait may be created by accumulation of layers in the viewer’s mind. What these artists are and what they do become the same thing thanks to the highlighted presence of the grain, color filters, light, framing and reframing, flickering, scratches, and juxtapositions. Portraits, as well as ...And a Table (1970), are examples of films influenced by structuralist/formalist art that explores the nature of film as a medium. Steve Reich’s Four Organs gives final shape to this film. As with the image, the sound composition for four electronic organs and maraca dissects the minimalist main chord by its playing parts, the harmonics uneasily pulling and pushing in different directions. Barbara Meter: ‘What I usually hope to achieve is that image and sound follow their own path, but often connect, after which they distance themselves again—and then connect again.’
- Mónica Savirón