studie voor een veldslag/study for a battle is inspired by the late medieval sketches of falling horses, especially from Pisanello. In thin lines on yellowed paper you can see the soft contours of falling and fallen horses. They look pretty funny, and also peaceful, in their awkward poses. But it is clear from the caption that these are studies of horses' falling on the battlefield, sketches intended to be elaborated into war spectacle pieces.
The film investigates a printing technique that produces a kind of 3D relief in film - a special effect from surreal analogue photography, early 20th century - in which the photographic image in bas-relief seems to be sculpted. An image that is very similar to the lines of a pencil or pen drawing.
The colors in the film are based on the 20 pastel (piss) shades of the medieval Epiphanie Medicorum, a color wheel used for medical diagnosis.
The sound in the film - a variation of "wow & flutter" on the 1khz reference tone - can evoke a physical experience and an explicit silence afterwards.
studie voor een veldslag - Esther Urlus
6’30 min, 16mm colour, optical sound, 2018/19
more on the research for studie voor een veldslag
"Fallen horses" Pisanello
"Fallen horses" after Adam Frans van der Meulen