Laila Pakalniņa
Latvia | 2001 | 10 min
Language : no dialogue

The city is a frenetic place, and a reason is needed for asking the people to stop for a moment and stand in front of the movie camera. The reason is some music by Mozart (a few instants of “The Magic Flute”). A man, a girl, a child, a couple of women and a few young people put the earphones on and listen.

Commissioned by the curator Helena Demakova for the 2001 Venice Biennale is Pakalnina’s most structurally systematic and pre-determined documentary work. Before a static camera people appear: a man, a girl, a child, a couple of women and a few teenagers, standing as if they were posing for a photograph. They all wear headphones and are listening to an excerpt of Mozart’s “Magic Flute”, which provokes various reactions. In the meantime we just listen to ambient noise and other people around go on way. When they take off the headphones we can also start enjoying Mozart’s music for a brief moment. The displacement of Mozart’s music into an unusual "urban street” context, recreates in a few minutes Pakalnina’s delicately absurd and poetic trademark atmospheres. “The city is as it is. There needs to be a serious reason in order to ask an urban person to stop and be calm in front of the camera for a moment. This time Mozart serves as the reason.” Laila Pakalnina

Laila Pakalniņa

Atelier Laila Pakalnina

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