Mo’s Birthday
2006 | Commissioned short for the Mozart year of 2006. Video, 1 min, PAL 4:3 | Colour | Stereo

Image03On the visual level the film shows drummers on the streets of Dakar celebrating Mohammed’s birthday during an electricity blackout while at the same time there is a transient presence of a piece Mozart—the second ‘Mo’ of the title—wrote for the glass harmonica in the last year of his life for a blind woman musician. It is played here by a Slovak street musician.

I was also interested in the use Mozart made of the Orient in his work—in The Abduction from the Seraglio, for example—which, although informed by the ideas of enlightenment, nevertheless handles the cultural space it allegedly deals with as a screen for Western imaginings. Since any real threat of actual cultural or military invasion had been dispelled these began to move towards the more exotic outgrowths of Orientalism.

Mo’s Birthday, 2006 · Category: Video
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