Installation view of Open Plan: Steve McQueen (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, April 29–May 14, 2016). , Photograph by Ron Amstutz
Franz Loeser and Eslanda Robeson at the trial in absentia of Hans-Maria Globke at the Supreme Court of the GDR. East-Berlin, 8 July 1963. , Courtesy of the Akademie der Künste Berlin, Eva Brüggmann, AdK, PRA Nr. 613_01B © BArch, Bild 183-B0708-0014-004.
© Kolja Tinkova / HKW

Oct 28–Dec 30, 2022

The Missed Seminar

After Eslanda Robeson. In Conversation with Steve McQueen’s “End Credits”

Oct 28–Dec 30, 2022
Auditorium lobby

Mon, Wed, Thu & Fri 4–9 pm
Sat 12 noon–9 pm
Sun 12 noon–7 pm
Closed Tue
Closed Dec 24, 25 & 26

Free admission

Due to construction work, a barrier-free entry to the exhibition is only possible via the roof terrace. An elevator on the mezzanine level leads to the roof terrace.

Installation: End Credits
Oct 28–31, Nov 17–21, Dec 21–30, 2022

Oct 29 & Nov 19, 2022

A situated reading of transcontinental world-making practices that reveal and upset the continuities of the Cold War’s extreme binarism: an exhibition, conversations and an installation unfold a study towards a political imaginary today.

The Missed Seminar metabolizes archival material of the life, thought, writings and relationships of the Black feminist, anthropologist and African-American photographer Eslanda Robeson. Departing from her friendship with the German-Jewish Marxist philosopher Franz Loeser and their encounters in East Berlin in 1963, the curatorial study asks: What if their exchange had been the framework for a seminar to come? The exhibition and set of conversations unfold the unfinished political aspirations of Robeson and Loeser and suggest an intersectional imaginary of anti-fascism, Black feminism and technopolitics.

In conversation, artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen presents the completed version of End Credits (2012–2022). As a haunting monument to the threat of US anti-communism, the audiovisual installation gathers thousands of digitized files collected by the FBI during the Cold War in decades of surveillance of Eslanda Robeson and her husband, the actor, singer and activist Paul Robeson. These entanglements sketch the vision of what decolonizing socialism could have been and what it can still become.

Conceptualized by Doreen Mende in conversation with Avery F. Gordon, Lama El Khatib, Aarti Sunder and Katharina Warda

Part of The New Alphabet