Dr Deidre Brollo





Deidre Brollo is an artist and printmaker who works primarily with artists' books and installation. Her work explores the intersection of memory, perception and art, examining ways in which individual remembrance can be bound into the viewing experience. She holds a BVA from the University of Newcastle, and completed a PhD in 2007 at Sydney College of the Arts, composed of a thesis, Memory, Perception & the Art of Seeing Double, and an exhibition, the return room. Drawing on the writings of Henri Bergson and Marcel Proust, she argued that perception is inherently bound up with memory, and as a result, that all artworks have the potential to elicit acts of recollection in the viewer, in which individual recollection is brought to bear upon the artwork, a process of 'seeing double.' Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in Australia, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, France and South Korea, and is represented in the collections of the State Library of Queensland, Southern Cross University, and Manly Library. In 2007 she was Visiting Artist at National Art School, Sydney, and curated Noosa Regional Gallery's artist's book symposium, The Artist's Book and the Search for the Impossible.

Paper title

Untying the Knot: Memory and Forgetting in Contemporary Print Work


Memory has long been talked of in terms of imprint and impression, terms fundamental to the language of printmaking. The sense of the mind as a receptive surface upon which experience is imprinted is related to Classical metaphors of memory, in particular the Platonic account of memory as an impression made in wax. The dominant influence of this model in Western thought has not only informed thinking on memory itself, but has also shaped us culturally, evident in the way in which we privilege those objects, such as the photograph, that seem to embody this metaphor of impression.

The problematic nature of this metaphor is apparent when we reflect on the binary it establishes: if memory is deemed the preservation of the past in material form, whether in an object or within the brain, then by extension, forgetting is associated with the decay of that material form. But at the heart of this dichotomy of presence/absence there is a paradox: if forgetting entails a true erasure, how is it that we can be aware that we have forgotten? An alternate view of memory can be found within the work of philosophers Paul Ricoeur and Henri Bergson, and in contemporary neuroscience.

Culturally this metaphor of memory'as'impression has been challenged by artists such as Tacita Dean, Christian Boltanski, and Paul Ogier. Through an often subversive use of artforms that appear native to this metaphor ' print and photo media ' they each engage with memory outside of this false binary. Memory is seen as something complex, dynamic and fragmentary, recollected through an active process of putting together, of re'membering. Similarly, forgetting is not singularly destructive, but also a thing of latency, possibility and potential. These artists question the ways in which art is able to relate to and embody the past.


Friday 30 September


1:30pm - 3.00pm








Back to home page