The Unfinished Conversation: John Akomfrah

Organization New Art Exchange
Hours Monday - Saturday: 09:00am - 05:00pm


Address 39-41 Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Phone 0115 924 8630
Start May 11, 2013
End July 14, 2013
Closed Sunday

The nature of the visual as triggered across an individual’s memory landscape with particular reference to identity and race lies at the core of The Unfinished Conversation by John Akomfrah - a beautiful, moving and multi-layered film about Jamaican-born academic and one of the founders of cultural studies in the UK, Stuart Hall.


The work by acclaimed artist/film-maker John Akomfrah, presented by New Art Exchange and commissioned by Autograph ABP - is presented as an immersive three-channel video installation, and presents identity as not an essence or being but instead a becoming, where individual subjectivities are formed in both real and fictive spaces.

The film sees academic Stuart Hall’s memories and personal archives extracted and relocated in an imagined and different time, reflecting the questionable nature of memory itself.  Further, the piece explores identities and addresses Stuart Hall’s idea that:  “Identities are formed at the unstable point where personal lives meet the narrative of history. Identity is an ever-unfinished conversation.”  Artist/film-maker John Akomfrah said the film also addresses the traffic of history.


“The traffic between the past and the present of ideas, of identities, and how we move in time,” he said.


“To hear Stuart Hall speak about what it is to be different in society in the late 1970s/early 1980s gave you a sense not simply of self, but of agency, of what you could do with your life.”

Director of Programmes, New Art Exchange, Melanie Kidd said it is poignant that The Unfinished Conversation will be presented by NAE considering Stuart Hall’s work sits at the heart of the gallery’s mission to stimulate new perspectives about the value of diversity in art and society.


“At NAE we see Stuart Hall’s ideas as the central guiding narrative to our mission in promoting and championing arts from diverse cultures,” she said.

The Unfinished Conversation is an Autograph ABP Commission. Executive producer Mark Sealy, Director of Autograph ABP. Produced by Lina Gopaul and David Lawson, Smoking Dogs Films in collaboration with Professor Stuart Hall.

The Unfinished Conversation will be at New Art Exchange, Nottingham, from 11 May – 14 July. Please note screenings of the Unfinished Conversation start on the hour from 10am – 4pm. We advise viewing the full duration of the work which is around 45 minutes.

show all Media

show all Followers

Media [+ Add Media]

view by:


Add Your Views
Please to comment.