How does a writer, a researcher, an artist, or a musician know when a piece of work is finished? And what happens if one cannot finish? One may be stuck out of boredom or dissatisfaction with what one has produced so far. Or it may be the case that one struggles with fear, with procrastination before deadlines, or simply with a lack of ideas. While some works always remain unfinished despite the unending desire to complete them, others are abandoned unwillingly or explicitly declared unfinished (what in art is called the non finito). To what extent is the notion of unfinishedness inscribed in works that are conceived as open form? And is the constantly revised and manipulated multitude the format of the future? We might also ask: What are the satisfying and unsatisfying effects of such a disposition? And how does our imagination deal with empty spaces, fragments, and unfinished parts?

The ICI Library Event explored the creative and menacing potential of the notion of unfinishedness within the ICI focus on Constituting Wholes.


Welcome: Corinna Haas and Christoph Holzhey
Introduction to the exhibition: Claudia Peppel

Part 1
Done with: Words Taken at Their Word

‘I may hang on my own eyelashes, ripening and swelling, acting out all the parts in the play until I run. The plot’s the only thing we know today’.

Part 2
Undone: States of Incompleteness

Inspired by Pascal Mercier’s Perlmann’s Silence and Susan Sontag’s Early Diaries, this performance explores the different kinds of inabilities that haunt creative work and academic life.

In English

Eirini Avramopoulou
Daniel Barber
Alice Gavin
Peta Hinton
Shannon Hoff
Jamila Mascat
Siouxzi Connor
Nahal Naficy
Filippo Trentin
Arnd Wedemeyer

Organized by

An ICI Berlin event, organized by Corinna Haas and Claudia Peppel

The event, like all events at the ICI Berlin, is open to the public, free of charge. The audience is presumed to consent to a possible recording on the part of the ICI Berlin. If you would like to attend the event yet might require assistance, please contact Event Management.