Conditional Probability, a new 16mm film installation by artist and filmmaker Runa Islam, premiered at the Serpentine Gallery. Commissioned and shown by the Serpentine Gallery, it was the result of a residency at North Westminster Community School (NWCS)in its final year before closure in July 2006.
Conditional Probability featured NWCS students as its main characters. It gave a fascinating portrayal of what it is like it be a student in a major London school. Life is seen from the viewpoint of the students as Islam filmed their daily lives capturing candid exchanges between pupils together with scripted dialogue.
The artist worked with scriptwriters, Laurence Coriat and Georgia Fitch, to develop both scripted dialogue and improvised workshops, which explored the different currencies of language used by young people.
Islam produces film and video installations that use overlapping layers of narrative to explore notions of authenticity and fiction, subjectivity and authorship. She blurs the distinction between film, sculpture, art and cinema.
With an international profile, Islam had recently exhibited in group shows including the 8th Istambul Biennale (2005) and Göteborg International Biennial (2005), solo shows include Dunkers Kulturhus, Helsingborg and Camden Arts Centre, London.
Conditional Probability was the concluding part of Dis-assembly, a pioneering Serpentine Gallery Project based at the NWCS working with renowned artists: Faisal Abdu’ Allah, Christian Boltanski and Yona Friedman. Dis-assembly marked the closure of NWCS with artists’ residencies recording the ephemeral histories of the pupils and buildings.