Dr Donna Brett

BA (Visual Arts) UniSA, MA (Art History) Sydney, PhD Sydney
Lecturer

A26 - R.C. Mills Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 4213

Website Academia Site
Website

Biographical details

Donna West Brett joined the art history department in 2014 after an extensive arts industry career. Her areas of expertise include the history and theory of photography, modernism, international contemporary art, cold war visual culture, curatorial and museological practice & theory. Curated exhibitions include Ann Shelton: In a Forest, Australian Centre for Photography, 2012 (co-curator), Joseph Beuys and the ‘Energy Plan’, University of Sydney, 2012 and The Stranger’s Eye, Peloton, 2010. She is author of Photography and Place: Seeing and Not Seeing Germany After 1945 (Routledge 2015); ‘Interventions in Seeing: GDR Surveillance, Camouflage & the Cold War Camera’, in Camouflage Cultures: the Art of Disappearance (University of Sydney Press, 2015); ‘Home and Homelessness: Ann Shelton’s Aesthetics of Displacement’ in Ann Shelton: Dark Matter (Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki Gallery, 2016 forthcoming) and ‘Forgetting Ilse Bing’, in Kris Belden-Adams, ed. Photography and Failure: One Medium’s Entanglement with Flops, Underdogs, and Disappointments (Bloomsbury, 2016 forthcoming). Brett is also a member of the editorial committee & reviews editor for the Australian & NZ Journal of Art and Research Leader for the Photographic Cultures Research Group.

Research interests

  • History and theory of photography
  • Modernism
  • International contemporary art
  • Cold war visual culture
  • Postcolonial theory
  • Curatorial and museological practice & theory

Teaching and supervision

Teaching

  • ARHT2662: Photography: Image and Document
  • ARHT3662: Debating Photography
  • ARHT 2614: Pollock to Psychedelia
  • ARHT3614: Expand Your Mind: Debating Modernism
  • ARHT5908: The Business of Art

Supervision

Dr Brett supervises Honours or Masters students in the field of German art, contemporary art and photography.

Current projects

  • The Cold War camera
  • Photography, Home and Exile in Cold War Germany

Associations

Editorial

  • Australian and NZ Journal of Art (ANZJA) editorial committee and reviews editor 2013-2016
  • Co-Editor, ANZJA open issues 2014, 2015 & 2016
  • Issue editor: ANZJA 2014 issue 1: ‘Abstract Expressionism: Action. Painting. Now’. Guest editor, Professor Roger Benjamin

Committee Member

  • Australian & New Zealand Journal of Art, Editorial Committee and Reviews Editor, 2013 -
  • AICA Australia, Association of International Art Critics, 2009 -

Professional Membership

  • Art Association of Australia and New Zealand
  • AICA Australia, Association of International Art Critics
  • Art Association of Art Historians, (AAH), Britain
  • College Art Association, (CAA), USA

Conference Convening

  • Photography.Ontology.Symposium, convenor with the Photographic Cultures Research Group, 2–3 June 2016
  • Together<>Apart, AAANZ annual conference, co-convenor with A/Professor Susan Best and Dr Ann Stephen, University of Sydney, National Art School and AGNSW, July 2012

Selected Conference Papers

  • ‘Witnessing the Archive: The Stasi, Photography and Escape from the GDR’, Photography.Ontology symposium, University of Sydney, June 2016
  • ‘Exile and Erasure: Forgetting Ilse Bing’, College Art Association, New York, February 2015
  • ‘The Event Horizon’, with Ann Shelton, Contained Memory conference, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, NZ 9-11 Dec 2010
  • ‘The Uncanny Return: Documenting Place in Post-war German Photography’, Framing Time and Place: Repeats and Returns in Photography, University of Plymouth, Plymouth UK, 15-17 Apr 2009

PhD and master's project opportunities

Selected grants

2014

  • Thomas Demand and Hitlers Photographer; Brett D; University of Sydney/Art History Article Submission Support Scheme.
  • Photography and Place: Seeing and Not Seeing Germany After 1945; Brett D; University of Sydney/Research Support Scheme.
  • Exile and Erasure: Forgetting Ilse Bing; Brett D; University of Sydney/Faculty Research Incubator.

2013

  • Career Development Scholarship; Brett D; Copyright Agency Cultural Fund/Creative Industries Career Fund.

2010

  • Travel Scholarship; Brett D; DAAD German Academic Exchange Service/Travel Scholarship.

2007

  • German Language Scholarship for Arts Professionals; Brett D; Goethe Institute Australia/German Language Scholarship for Arts Professionals.

Selected publications & creative works

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Books

  • Brett, D. (2016). Photography and Place: Seeing and Not Seeing Germany After 1945. New York: Routledge. [More Information]

Book Chapters

  • Brett, D. (2015). Interventions in seeing: surveillance, camouflage and the Cold War camera. In Ann Elias, Ross Harley, Nicholas Tsoutas (Eds.), Camouflage Cultures: Beyond the art of disappearance, (pp. 147-157). Sydney, Australia: Sydney University Press.

Journals

  • Brett, D., Shelton, A. (2011). The Event Horizon: Returning "After the Fact". Memory Connection.
  • Brett, D. (2010). The Uncanny Return: Documenting Place in Post-war German Photography. Photographies, 3(1), 7-22. [More Information]

Textual Creative Works

  • Brett, D. (2015). Greyscale, (pp. 367 - 7). Sydney, Australia: National Art School.
  • Brett, D. (2014). Coen Young. William Wright Artists Projects, Sydney, Australia: William Wright Artists Projects. [More Information]
  • Brett, D. (2013). Mike Hewson. Breathing Room, (pp. 16 - 17). Sydney, Australia: MOP Gallery.
  • Brett, D. (2010). The stranger's eye, (pp. 1 - 10). Surry Hills, Australia: Peloton Inc.

Exhibitions / Events

  • Brett, D., Nolan, T. (2012). Ann Shelton: In a Forest. Australian Centre for Photography, Paddington, Australia.
  • Brett, D. (2012). Joseph Beuys and the 'Energy Plan'. Sydney, Australia: University Art Gallery, University of Sydney.
  • Brett, D. (2010). The Stranger's Eye. Peloton Gallery, Chippendale, Sydney, Australia: Peloton Gallery, Surry Hills.

2016

  • Brett, D. (2016). Photography and Place: Seeing and Not Seeing Germany After 1945. New York: Routledge. [More Information]

2015

  • Brett, D. (2015). Greyscale, (pp. 367 - 7). Sydney, Australia: National Art School.
  • Brett, D. (2015). Interventions in seeing: surveillance, camouflage and the Cold War camera. In Ann Elias, Ross Harley, Nicholas Tsoutas (Eds.), Camouflage Cultures: Beyond the art of disappearance, (pp. 147-157). Sydney, Australia: Sydney University Press.

2014

  • Brett, D. (2014). Coen Young. William Wright Artists Projects, Sydney, Australia: William Wright Artists Projects. [More Information]

2013

  • Brett, D. (2013). Mike Hewson. Breathing Room, (pp. 16 - 17). Sydney, Australia: MOP Gallery.

2012

  • Brett, D., Nolan, T. (2012). Ann Shelton: In a Forest. Australian Centre for Photography, Paddington, Australia.
  • Brett, D. (2012). Joseph Beuys and the 'Energy Plan'. Sydney, Australia: University Art Gallery, University of Sydney.

2011

  • Brett, D., Shelton, A. (2011). The Event Horizon: Returning "After the Fact". Memory Connection.

2010

  • Brett, D. (2010). The stranger's eye, (pp. 1 - 10). Surry Hills, Australia: Peloton Inc.
  • Brett, D. (2010). The Stranger's Eye. Peloton Gallery, Chippendale, Sydney, Australia: Peloton Gallery, Surry Hills.
  • Brett, D. (2010). The Uncanny Return: Documenting Place in Post-war German Photography. Photographies, 3(1), 7-22. [More Information]

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