David Adjaye

Steve McQueen, End Credits, 2012/2016, sequence of digital scans, black-and-white, sound, 12 hours 54 minutes; sound element: 19 hours 23 minutes. Installation view, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Photo: Ron Amstutz.

1 “OPEN PLAN: STEVE MCQUEEN” (WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, NEW YORK; CURATED BY DONNA DE SALVO WITH CHRISTIE MITCHELL) The power of this show was a testament both to McQueen’s cinematic genius and to the intelligent design of the Whitney’s fifth floor. The largest column-free space to display art in New York, it is flexible and accommodating, the ideal space for McQueen to unfold his haunting End Credits (2012), a nearly six-hour film composed primarily of close-up images of documents from the FBI’s file on the performer and activist Paul Robeson (1898–1976). The austerity of the space enhanced the effect of the oversize screens and clinical narration, creating a truly immersive experience. The details of the agency’s ruthless and painstaking surveillance of Robeson may be obscured in the heavily redacted documents, but in the context of today’s political climate, the film’s

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