The Journey: the Archive, Narrative, Truth and Identity Conference Paper uri icon


  • This presentation will consider the use of archival material in contemporary art as a strategy for re-narrating history and re-presenting identity. Since the emergence of conceptual art in the 1960s, the archive has been significant in the visual investigation of history, memory and identity. Artists such as Boltanski, Kabakov, Richter, Ingelevics, Milojevic and Gough, amongst many others, have used the archive to challenge our understanding of history and offer alternative narratives for engaging with the past. In itself, the archive is not history, but the point from which history, and its retelling, emerges. The discussion will focus in particular on challenges associated with a project called The journey home, based on the author's attempt to follow her mother s journey from Soviet and German occupied Latvia to Australia at the end of WWII. Using both personal and private archival material, including old and new photographs, artefacts, video and text, The journey home is underpinned by a desire to connect with a previously untold history and to understand the impact of cultural displacement on identity.

publication date

  • 2010

published in

  • ACUADS 2010 Annual Conference


  • University of Tasmania

presented at

  • ACUADS 2010 Annual Conference, Launceston, Tasmania