What is the Weight of the Moon? is taken from ‘The Middleman’ a film by Satyajit Rai that is part of a cycle of films on what is political about being a student in 1970’s Calcutta. The project is a response to the situation of 50,000+ Bengali students whose colleges are under investigation as being potentially bogus by the government. Often seen as ambiguous signboards around East London, the visibility of these colleges and the… invisibility of the students are questioned using video as an apparatus.

Originally conceived as a two channel video installation consisting of a video essay and a set of edited interviews, student interviewees are placed outside the frame. The viewer is invited to become an active listener using field recordings, simultaneous translations of the interviews in Bengali and English and control of a 3-channel audio mixer.

For the February Free Cinema School salon, the videos will be screened separately along with a presentation and discussion led by the artist mapping the various strands of the project, from the Bengali language movement, anti-documentary techniques and the neoliberalisation of education. Student activists and members of Chicago Boys: while we were singing, they were dreaming, a 70s band and neoliberalism study group initiated at the Centre for Possible Studies will respond.
Nabil Ahmed is currently a PhD at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths. His emerging practice involves working with people, software, video, the voice and text to form critical responses to relevant, political questions. He has worked with various galleries, project spaces and institutions such as ISEA, the Victoria & Albert, no.w.here, Wet Sounds, Waterside Project Space, the Showroom and openvizor. He is the co-founder of Call & Response, London’s multi-channel sound art gallery and project space.

What is the Weight of the Moon?

Wednesday 2nd February 2011, 7-9pm

Centre for Possible Studies, 64 Seymour Street, W1H 5BW

For more information contact Amal Khalaf on amalk@serpentinegallery.org