David Knight - 16th Dec 2014

Channel 4's work in challenging perceptions of disability, most notably with their coverage of the 2012 Paralympics, reaches a new landmark with Born Risky - a new brand campaign dedicated on changing attitudes towards the disabled – and this trailblazing and spectacular video directed by Saam Farahmand. 

Step forward Viktoria Modesta, who has been billed as the world's first bionic pop artist in the brouhaha surrounding Saam's video for Prototype - previewed in a 40 second commercial in the final ad break of The X Factor Final last Sunday. And although it's likely the video cost much less to make than the cost of buying that super-premium ad slot (an estimated £200K) Saam has propelled this unknown artist into a high end pop video worthy of Madonna or Lady Gaga.     

In a Thirties-style dictatorship, Viktoria becomes the fulcrum of dissent, because of her talent and non-conformism - of which her disability symbolises. Her lower left leg is missing, so she wears a series of intriguing prosthetic limbs (designed by Sophie de Oliveria Barata) and radiates those elements of rebellion and sexuality that marks her out as a potential icon. And that's before a mesmerizing puppet-dance routine with her cone-shaped limb wielded like a super-stiletto.

Arguably there is a paradox here – the artist's physical difference is celebrated at least as much as her talent - but there's no question Saam has now achieved what he has long threatened: made a really outstanding pure pop video. 

Watch 'Viktoria Modesta ‘Prototype’ by Saam Farahmand' here

PRO Credits


DirectorSaam Farahmand
Production CompanyRogue Films
ProducerKate Hitchings
Director of PhotographyFlorian Hoffmeister
Art DirectorTim Gibson
Costume designerJoanna Hir
ChoreographerJay Revell
EditorDavid Stevens
Editing companyThe Assembly Rooms
Post production companyElectric Theatre Collective
CommissionerChannel 4
Other creditsCreative Director: Chris Bovill Creative Director: John Allison Executive Producer: Miketta Lane Producer: Kirstin Cruickshank Alternative Limb Designer: Sophie de Oliveria Barata

David Knight - 16th Dec 2014

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