4 min. colour, surround sound, Digital Video to 35 mm film


A short film that plays a refined game with slices of time in the city of Rotterdam. The matter-of-fact presence of a police woman on a horse on the large square, changes into a surrealist and heroic monument.
Artist statement: ‘Apart from Muybridge, inspiration for this film comes from countless police surveillance cameras that registrate every citizen’s movement from any angle. I decided to change perspectives.’
Technique: The film was recorded using 32 digital video cameras simultaneously.

information on Equestrian from the former Netherlands Media Art Institute www.nimk.nl  :

In bygone days, when equestrian statues were erected in every town square to pay tribute to a king or general, scientists were faced with this insoluble question: does a horse at any time during full trot or gallop get off the ground with all four legs at the same time? Only the invention of photography and the ingenious ideas of Eadweard Muybridge proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was the case. You could see it with your own eyes, which was evidence enough.

Van Bakel found an empty square and gave it a virtual statue of a policewoman on horseback. With a kind of inventiveness that would have made Muybridge proud, he makes the cameras, the equestrian statue and the urban decor swarm all around one another. The sound of shod hooves on the pavement completes the effect of a quick succession of dissolves. In the year 2002, digital technology apparently even allowed an artist to let horse and rider float permanently. You can see it happening, but that photographic images show the indisputable truth is something of the past.

text Vinken and Van Kampen

Collection: LIMA Amsterdam (Netherlands Media Art Institute), eye Film Institute.

Equestrian received multiple awards and has been screened extensively at festivals, in cinema’s, galleries and museums all over the globe.

RIDER Deborah Post
HORSE Guus in ‘t Rietveld
DIRECTOR Michiel van Bakel
PRODUCER Noud Heerkens Picos
CAMERA Michiel van Bakel / Philippe Vié   Cam-a-Lot
VISUAL DESIGN Reinier van Brummelen  Stereomatrix
SOUND DESIGN Michel Schöpping
Special thanks to Martine Herman

EQUESTRIAN was financially supported by the Dutch Film Fund, Rotterdam Film Fund
and the 5th Global Attic film- & video Festival