The Unfinished Conversation: Encoding/Decoding


Co-published by The Power Plant and Autograph ABP, London, UK, this publication accompanied the group exhibition The Unfinished Conversation: Encoding/Decoding, co-produced with Autograph ABP, London, UK, co-curated by Gaëtane Verna and Mark Sealy MBE, and presented at The Power Plant from 24 January to 18 May 2015.

Grounded in the work of Jamaican-born cultural theorist Stuart Hall (1932-2014), the exhibition took Hall’s seminal text “Encoding and Decoding in the Television Discourse” as its point of departure, reflecting on the ways in which meaning is constructed and how it might be detached or drained of original intent to produce distorted narratives.

The exhibition included work by Canadian and international artists including John Akomfrah, Terry Adkins, Sven Augustijnen, Shelagh Keeley, Steve McQueen, and Zineb Sedira. All six artists are devoted primarily to creating artworks that comment on recent socio-political events and situations by using archival materials to better understand our contemporary world. This exhibition revealed that national identity is not an essence or a state of being but rather a “becoming,” a process whereby subjectivities are formed and marginalized people are the agents and subjects of many possible futures, imagined or real.

The publication features texts by Gaëtane Verna, Mark Sealy MBE, Stuart Hall, Kobena Mercer, Nora M. Alter, Nadira Laggoune-Aklouch, Ranjit Hoskote, and Chantal Pontbriand.

Product Information

  • Publisher: The Power Plant, Autograph ABP
  • Year: 2016
  • ISBN: 978-1-894212-47-2
  • Pages: 108
  • Illustrations: 43 colour illustrations
  • Dimensions: 21.5 cm x 16.5 cm, softcover
  • Availability: In stock