by Barbara METER
2000 / 16mm / color / silent / 1S / 3' 00
'Convalescing: when you don't have to participate in the world. Time to read, to dream, to look - the blue, the light of the television, the blue, the book, the patterns, the light, the blue. Time to appreciate how much that really is'. (Barbara Meter)
Meter treats her footage as if it were found, creating her own personal archive, re-shooting and manipulating it as if it had been given to her, trying to figure out what it is and what lays behind it. The silence of her films speaks volumes: it is a conscious and loud way of expressing herself. In 2012, Meter made another radically silent film, Little Stabs, edited in-camera, and consisting of politically charged images from newspapers that she had been gathering over the years. In Convalescing, Meter brings the attention towards the one who reads, looks, and listens. The film breaks away from explanations to take solace in the mood created by the natural and the electric light coming through the windows and the television set. In a way, it refers to Meter’s first experimental film, From the Exterior (1970), in which she shot different residential windows from the street—lives as seen from the other side. In Convalescing, Meter reflects on those moments of distancing oneself from the world, and writes: ‘... the blue, the light of the television, the blue, the book, the patterns, the light, the blue. Time to appreciate how much that really is.’ In her films, sometimes we are able to glimpse these words from poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: ‘Over all the hilltops there is quiet.’ Taking place inside a room, Convalescing is both contemplative and self-reflective, as well as the one film by Meter that allows us to take an intimate pause—with just the sound of the film projector, and our very, inner, own.
- Mónica Savirón