Fulbright Artist's Farewell Exhibition
Fulbright Artist's Farewell
Fulbright Award-winning artist Michelle Menzies opens an installation of new photographic work at the University of Auckland’s Window gallery on Monday, her final exhibition before departing for five years of study in the US. A practising artist, curator and academic, Menzies was recently awarded a 2006 Fulbright New Zealand General Graduate Award towards studying for a PhD in literature at the University of Chicago.
Menzies’ triptych of large format photographs will be on display at Window’s OnSite space in the foyer of the University of Auckland library from 18 July-18 August, and online at www.window.auckland.ac.nz The works explore in-between places, the "non-aesthetic" and unpopulated interiors of houses that have been broken up, moved to temporary locations and are awaiting re-sale. These abandoned spaces, paused or suspended between past habilitation and uncertain future, serve as a platform from which Menzies extrapolates subtle poetics of memory, time, light and space.
A founding member of the onsite/online contemporary art space Window in 2001, Menzies has been a curator of the project’s OnSite gallery since it opened in 2004. She won a University of Auckland Cultural Blue for the initiative in its opening year. Her own work, including moving image, installation, projection and photography, has been exhibited at Window and other galleries around the country, most recently in the solo exhibition Passings at the New Zealand Film Archive in Auckland.
Menzies graduated with a BA/BFA from the University of Auckland in 2004 and a BA (Hons) in 2005. Her study in Chicago will focus on cultural studies, interdisciplinary theory and cinema studies, with Menzies planning to make the most of her time in the US both academically and as an artist.
"The University of Chicago’s Department of English is a world leader in the field of critical theory and cultural studies," explain Menzies. "The vibrant contemporary art world in Chicago, and quality of museums and art galleries both in the city and on the University campus are a strong attraction. Participating in Chicago’s art scene during the five years of my PhD will allow me to develop a network of artists, writers, theorists and curators that will sustain my own creativity while I am in the States, and which I will bring back with me to New Zealand on my return."