The Power Institute is delighted to announce department member Dr Donna West Brett’s new book Photography and Place: Seeing and Not Seeing Germany After 1945.



As a recording device, photography plays a unique role in how we remember places and events that happened there. This includes recording events as they happen, or recording places where something occurred before the photograph was taken, commonly referred to as aftermath photography.

Photography and Place presents a theoretical and historical analysis of German photography of place after 1945. It analyses how major historical ruptures in twentieth-century Germany and associated places of trauma, memory and history affected the visual field and the circumstances of looking. These ruptures are used to generate a new reading of postwar German photography of place. The analysis includes original research on world-renowned German photographers such as Thomas Struth, Thomas Demand, Michael Schmidt, Boris Becker and Thomas Ruff, as well as photographers largely unknown in the Anglophone world.



Donna West Brett is a lecturer in art history at the University of Sydney. She is also author of ‘Interventions in Seeing: Surveillance, Camouflage and the Cold War Camera’ in Camouflage Cultures: Beyond the Art of Disappearance, edited by Ann Elias, Ross Harley and Nicholas Tsoutas (University of Sydney, 2015). She is also co-editor and reviews editor for the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art and research leader of the The Photographic Cultures research group at the University of Sydney. For more about Donna West Brett and her projects, see her website.



Photography and Place: Seeing and Not Seeing Germany After 1945 is published by Routledge and is available for purchase online here.