Champs des Visions/Fields of Visions/Blickfelder, 2015 | Dr. Suzanne Steele
Project Room Gallery
Champs des Visions/Fields of Vision/Blickfelder, is a 24 minute meditation on the consequence of landscape shot solely from the vantage of the ground upwards in the battlefields, the woods, the graveyards, and the monuments to the dead of the Great War in Northern France. It was filmed during 2014-2015 by the Canadian war artist Dr. Steele (Afghanistan Task-Force 3-09) and is intended to provoke thoughtfulness into the dangers and boredom of the deadly flat landscape of the Western Front. During the Great War most soldiers, when not in kinetic combat, stared for hours and days and months and years at the sky, often not seeing the dangerous horizon, except when utterly necessary.
Champs des Visions/Fields of Vision/Blickfelder has a soundtrack of ambient sound – birdsong, gunshots firing in the background (it was hunting season when it was shot and this was an astonishing and unplanned addition to the soundtrack a century after the war), the murmuring of voices (especially the video shot in the trenches), motorcycles, and insect sounds. These sounds are all intentionally left in; the literature of the Great War and private correspondence from soldiers serving at the Front is filled with soldiers likening themselves to insects and small rodents.