Tag Archives: The Unfinished Conversation (Akomfrah)


John Akomfrah—whose three-chanel video installation about Stuart Hall, The Unfinished Conversation, created a sensation at MOMA in 2017—presents PURPLE, a new six-channel work on climate change.

“Symphonic in scale and divided into five interwoven movements, the film features various disappearing ecological landscapes, from the hinterlands of Alaska and the desolate environments of Greenland to the Tahitian Peninsula and the volcanic Marquesas Islands in the South Pacific…

PURPLE conveys the complex and fragile interrelation of human and non-human life with a sense of poetic gravity that registers the vulnerability of living in precarious environments.”*


Through September 2.

Institute of Contemporary Art

25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston.

John Akomfrah, Purple, 2018, stills and installation view. Film images courtesy and © the artist, installation image courtesy Thyssen-Bornemisza Museo Nacional.


John Akomfrah’s THE UNFINISHED CONVERSATION, his documentary masterpiece about Stuart Hall —the summer highlight of MOMA‘s Unfinished Conversations: New Work from the Collection exhibition—will screen through July 30.

This three-channel video installation in its own dedicated “cinema” has been drawing crowds who tend to stay for the entire running-time and then watch it again.

From Adrian Searle’s Guardian review after CONVERSATION’s first appearance in 2012:

“The best work in the [Liverpool] biennial is undoubtedly Akomfrah’s THE UNFINISHED CONVERSATION, a three-screen video based on the life, work and talk of the incomparable Jamaican-born thinker Stuart Hall. Much more than biopic, Akomfrah juxtaposes archive news footage, readings of William Blake, Charles Dickens, and Virginia Woolf and most of all Hall’s own voice, to describe the world’s tumbling. Hall’s thoughts about identity, immigration and selfhood, evolve through a roar of telling images. The film, like the essence of Hall’s work, is about the conundrum of being in the world, and is as unexpected as it is brilliant.”*

Through July 30.
Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street, New York City.



John Akomfrah, The Unfinished Conversation (2012). Three-screen installation, HD video, color, sound, 45 mins (detail of still).

Courtesy the artist, the Warwick Arts Centre, and Carroll Fletcher.

John Akomfrah: The Unfinished Conversation