stabat metric

A pair of stiletto heels setting a rhythm like a metronome in an empty church for a human voice tracing backward the outline of an 18th century work.

Stabat Metric | audiovisual performance of the rewritten first movement of Stabat Mater by Luigi Boccherini | 2020 | (play feature)
Stabat Metric | reversed video of the performance | 2020 | (play feature)

Stabat Metric, takes its name from the Stabat Mater, composed by Luigi Boccherini, also used for the work Pictured at Rest. In Maltese, the opening line: Stabat Mater... is translated  to - 'Wieqfa kienet...' - meaning - standing still. On the other hand, Metric refers to the measurement of time, which the artists accomplish by the sound of the stiletto heel. 

All these elements mirror obsessions that have kicked in during lockdown: one of repetition, like playing with a crease in one's clothing, back and forth ; one of going in circles trying to replace the lost sense of time. 

In a childlike manner - that of deconstructing a toy, Clare has re written the first movement back to front and performs it accordingly, closing with the words "reataM tabatS", that once reversed it will sound starting with "Stabat Mater" as originally written by Boccherini. 

We invite you to engage with this work by accessing it through the videos posted above. The ​first video will play the version as it was adapted and performed by the artist. The ​second video will play the digitally reversed version as it was originally written by the composer. 

One can reflect on how this play with time affects the work and the viewer, when the echo precedes the sound triggering it. The work pictured at rest underlines another aspect of these peripheral energies. 

Collaboration with Clare Ghigo. Filming by Ken Scicluna

Stabat Metric | reversed music script | 2020 | photographed by Ken Scicluna

This project was launched on the 12th July 2020, 6 months after China publicly shared the genetic sequence of COVID-19 and was funded by Arts Council Malta.



All artwork © Joseph Calleja | Please do not download, reproduce or share without permission

Studio 73|75|77
77 Mgarr Road Qala Gozo Malta