Kolkata Monodosis

Posted on Nov 27, 2008 in / Serial IFIT

a documentary artist movie by Christopher Dell and Ranu Gosh in collaboration with Patrick Ghose, funded by the Goethe Institute Kolkata under supervision of Reimar Volker.

Inspired by the diverse and exciting social life on Kolkatas pavements (which is very much owed the cultural practise of the Hawkers, who occupy it), I decided to do a project in the streets. I picked up my concept of Monodosis, which is a research on musical form and converted it into an urban space intervention.

The cooperation of the film team is a creative interdisciplinary process in itself, that on a meta-productionlevel stands for an artistic endeavor of finding an experimental form of and for its own. In this way it is opening yet another level, another dimension of possibilities for interpretations, readings of the totality of the project and the urbanity it depicts.


Originally created as a serial movie consisting of 10 parts, each showing a different sites and time of the city of Kolkata:

Esplanade, morning, 9:00 am

My first gig on the street. Esplanade is a flowing space, which at 9:00 am is just awakening. I still struggle to find the right way to project, to concentrate.

Park Street, morning, 10:00 am

Traffic here is extremely linear. That makes it easier for me to plunge in and find the rhythm.

BBD Bagh, late morning, 11:00 am

An evening in Paris at midday in BBD Bagh. A cheering and dancing crowd. The site has a very ordered, yet flowing quality.

Shyambazar, midday, 12:00 pm

The people gathering behind me give me back-up and energy. And so the open space becomes dense, and I can accompany the sounds of this multilayered crossing.

Babu Ghat, midday, 1:00 pm

Also a very linear site, topographically located between the river and a main traffic axis. Playing here means playing in an in-between space. From the left I receive maximum silence, from the right maximum noise. The people from the ferry, coming from Howrah, have to pass by, they have no time. The people who live here enjoy what they experience, but do not seem to be accustomed to concerts. They are the ones who react the most to my body-work.

Kumatuli, late midday, 2:00 pm

Narrow and very peaceful. The silence takes me by surprise, after having adjusted to the Kolkata sound level. People and goddesses are watching me. The door, in front of which I perform, seems to draw me into a private space.

City Center, afternoon, 3:00 pm

The open space that is most carefully planned is also the most haunting. People stand very far away from me. The hybridity of the space slows down my playing. Playing here is more observing than acting.

Riverside, afternoon, 4:00 pm

A very mellow place, and in that respect one of the most comfortable to play in. Here I am offered tea. The train that passes by opens yet another rhythmic dimension.

Shealdah, late afternoon, 5:00 pm

I am completely lost in the ocean of streams. To fight it is impossible.

Gariahat, evening, 7:00 pm

The last session, and I am already over the top. But this is the place I am the most acquainted with. I have been here many times because the layering and movement of this site are the most remarkable and inspiring to me.


Three of the movie’s parts can be seen at youtube:

read more