The Fulbright Reflections series of panel discussions provides a unique opportunity for the public to personally meet New Zealand alumni of the Fulbright exchange programme, who will share their ideas and inspirations on a particular theme. They will engage with the audience in discussion and you will get to know these remarkable New Zealanders as people. These personal reflections will have wide appeal to people of all ages and interests.
The first instalment of Fulbright Reflections for 2013 will be presented in partnership with City Gallery Wellington, coinciding with the gallery’s major new exhibition of kinetic works from experimental filmmaker, sculptor, poet, painter and “composer of motion”, Len Lye. Lye was one of the most internationally influential and recognised New Zealand artists of the twentieth century, and spent a considerable part of his career based in the United States of America.
Fulbright Reflections: Experimental Art – Motion and Sound, will feature three esteemed Fulbright alumni – Len Lye historian Roger Horrocks, Adam Art Gallery curator Michelle Menzies and intermedia artist Phil Dadson – sharing their personal stories of passion, inspiration and thought leadership in the field of experimental art, and their experiences in the art world of the US.
Roger Horrocks received a 1963 Fulbright New Zealand Graduate Award to complete a Master of Arts degree in English at the University of Minnesota.
After returning to New Zealand he worked at the University of Auckland, pioneering the teaching of contemporary American literature and the study of film. He was involved in the setting up of the Auckland International Film Festival, Alternative Cinema, Artspace, NZ On Air, NZ On Screen, Script to Screen, and various other organizations. He was a co-editor of the experimental magazines And and Splash.
Roger worked as Len Lye’s assistant in New York during the last year of the artist’s life and has since written a biography and directed a film about him, curated an exhibition of Lye’s art, and edited or co-edited three collections of his writings.
Roger is an Emeritus Professor of the University of Auckland and founding Head of its Film, Television and Media Studies Department. He has won various film awards and in 2004 was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the film and television industries.
Michelle Menzies received a 2006 Fulbright New Zealand Graduate Award to complete a PhD in Literature at the University of Chicago. Her dissertation Archives of Experience: Toward a Digital Aesthetics argues a cultural history of digital aesthetics routed through the history of cinema, and analyses the aesthetics of movement in early film, contemporary art, modern poetry and the philosophy of Henri Bergson.
Michelle’s research interests focus on twentieth-century aesthetics, particularly phenomenology and critical theory. Ongoing topics of preoccupation include expanded cinema, digital style, film and poetics, and the intersection of film studies, film history and contemporary art.
Michelle has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Intermedia and Time Based Arts from the University of Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts. Her artistic practice is based in video, photography and installation. She was co-initiator and curator of the Window art project in Auckland, one of the first galleries in New Zealand to attempt a creative use of the internet through coupling physical and virtual exhibitions.
Michelle is Curator of Victoria University of Wellington’s Adam Art Gallery. She is a fellow of the New Zealand India Research Institute, and a reviewer for Flash Art and Artforum magazines.
Phil Dadson received a 1991 Fulbright New Zealand Cultural Development Award to research intermedia arts and experimental music at selected art institutions across the US.
Phil is a sound and intermedia artist with a transdisciplinary practice including video and sound installation, sound sculpture, construction of experimental musical instruments, music composition and improvised performance. He founded the original rhythm/performance group From Scratch in 1974, who perform with custom-built instruments made from industrial and natural materials. His kinetic sculptural works include Akau Tangi on Cobham Drive in Evan’s Bay, Wellington. In 2011 Phil was one of nine artists to travel on HMNZS Otago to the remote Kermadec Islands, resulting in a group exhibition at City Gallery Wellington from October 2012-February 2013. He recently travelled to Santiago, Chile for the opening of the Kermadec exhibition at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo.
Phil has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts, and a Master of Arts with Honours from the University of Western Sydney. He received a Laureate Award from the Arts Foundation in 2001 and was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2005, for services to the arts.
Join these Fulbright alumni at City Gallery Wellington on Sunday 7 April, from 2:00-3:30pm, as they discuss Experimental Art – Motion and Sound.
About the Fulbright programme
The Fulbright exchange programme is one of the largest and most significant scholarly initiatives in the world, with more than 300,000 alumni. Included are heads of state, ambassadors, artists, politicians, presidents, teachers, professors and thinkers. The programme was begun in 1946 by American Senator J. William Fulbright “to bring a little more knowledge, a little more reason and a little more compassion into world affairs and thereby to increase the chance that nations will learn at last to live in peace and friendship”. To find out more about the Fulbright programme and opportunities for educational and cultural exchange between New Zealand and the United States of America, visit the Fulbright New Zealand website at www.fulbright.org.nz