Sealing Place: Impressions of Rome by Tamryn McDermott

On the Bookshelf

Book descriptions below provided by publishers:

The Archaeology of Knowledge by Michel Foucault

Call Number: AZ101 .F6813 1972
ISBN: 0394711068
Publication Date: 1982-09-12


On Certainty by Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein; Wittgenstei

Call Number: B3376.W563 U313 1972
ISBN: 0061316865
Publication Date: 1972-09-06


On Collective Memory by Maurice Halbwachs; Lewis A. Coser (Translator)

Call Number: BF378.S65 H35 1992
ISBN: 0226115941
Publication Date: 1992-09-01


First Impressions by Dominique Collon

Call Number: CD5344 .C58 1988
ISBN: 9780714111360
Publication Date: 2006-08-01


Historical Representation by F. R. Ankersmit

Call Number: D13 .A637 2001
ISBN: 0804739803
Publication Date: 2002-01-02


The Content of the Form by Hayden V. White

Call Number: D13.W564.1987
ISBN: 0801841151
Publication Date: 1990-08-01


Meaning, Truth, and Reference in Historical Representation by Frank Ankersmit

Call Number: D16.8 .A6385 2012
ISBN: 9780801450716
Publication Date: 2012-05-22


The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius

Call Number: DG277 .S83 1957
ISBN: 1492261149
Publication Date: 2013-08-28


Figuring It Out by Colin Renfrew

Call Number: N72.A56 R46 2003
ISBN: 0500051143
Publication Date: 2003-04-17


Art and Artifact by James Putnam

Call Number: N72.A77 P88 2009
ISBN: 9780500288351
Publication Date: 2009-11-02


The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility, and Other Writings on Media by Walter Benjamin; Edmund Jephcott (Translator); Rodney Livingstone (Translator); Michael W. Jennings (Editor); Brigid Doherty (Editor); Thomas Levin (Editor)

Call Number: N72.S6 B413 2008
ISBN: 9780674024458
Publication Date: 2008-05-31


Thinking about Exhibitions by Reesa Greenberg; Bruce W. Ferguson; Sandy Nairne

Call Number: N4395 .T55 1996
ISBN: 0415115892
Publication Date: 1996-05-14


Archaeology by Mark Dion (Editor); Alex Coles (Editor)

Call Number: N6537.D54 A4 1999
ISBN: 1901033910
Publication Date: 1999-05-01


The Past Is the Present; It’s the Future Too by Christine Ross

Call Number: N8253.T5 R67 2012
ISBN: 9781441116048
Publication Date: 2012-06-28


Radical Nature by Francesco Manacorda; Ariella Yedgar; Barbican Art Gallery Staff (Contribution by)

Call Number: NX456.5.E6 R34 2009
ISBN: 3865606083
Publication Date: 2010-02-28


Ovid’s Metamorphoses by Elaine Fantham

Call Number: PA6519.M9 F36 2004
ISBN: 0195154096
Publication Date: 2004-07-15


Walter Benjamin and Art by Andrew Benjamin

Call Number: PT2603.E455 K868 2005
ISBN: 0826467296
Publication Date: 2005-03-18

Sealing Place: Impressions of Rome by Tamryn McDermott

On view now in the Gallery


Every history is a counter-history, written against as much as with the archive, and even the first historian, Herodotus, presupposes a version of “the past” against which his discourse presents itself as a contending, alternative version. -Hayden White

Artist Statement

My methodology emulates that of a historian and enters into the arena of archaeologists, archivists and curators. Historians write, and re-write history privileging certain evidence while imposing specific agendas, to reshape history. Confronting history as a construction; I provoke viewers through historical representation, unmasking illusions of precision and truth. By deconstructing and analyzing the way the historical record is fabricated, my work reveals the futile nature of preserving an accurate history.


Rome is an ideal site to deconstruct and analyze the condition of history; a site rich in rewritten and overwritten political and moral agendas. Historically, the fabric of Rome has been deconstructed and re-stitched since its origins, often rooted in myth and fragmented written records. Taking this history as my subject matter, I turn it into my working process, revealing the limitations of preserving history and accessing historical reality.


In this exhibition, the contextualization of the objects becomes imperative to how the work is perceived. My goal is to redefine the importance of installation and presentation of objects. The objects themselves are important, but become secondary to the structure and organization of the installation. The structural framework is meant to challenge viewers to consider the origins of knowledge about the past and how archaeologists, archivists and curators reinterpret and mythologize historical evidence. Curated displays suggest the research and conclusions imbedded in the objects. The arrangement reflects a stratified composite structure, mirroring written narrative history.

-Tamryn McDermott

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