From Me To You

A one-day academic Symposium featuring local and international speakers.

The history of artists moving image is one of first-person voices. From Jonas Mekas to Sadie Benning, from Charlotte Prodger to Sione Monu, artist film-makers have used themselves and the everyday as material, asserting a radically personal encounter with the world and their place within it. In turn, their work has served to critique the embedded codes of gender, privilege and representation in dominant cultures both onscreen and off. Alongside the diaristic voice, artists’ have placed the artists own hand on the camera, using the 8mm camera and the iphone as an extension of the body, and a reminder of the artists’ presence in the work.

This 2019 CIRCUIT Symposium From Me To You presents papers responding to the following questions;

What is the boundary between the personal and the political in artists moving image work? Where does art begin in the diaristic? How can an artist’s personal experiences address collective problems? How are artists using social media platforms to invert private and public space and make carefully orchestrated work where the personal is made public, and shareable? How are new moving image technologies assisting in the construction of artists’ identities? How do they help build like-minded creative communities online and off? Does the ephemeral nature of these platforms change what artists choose to make and disclose? By contrast, what are some of the issues in using found footage from archives and home movies to make new artistic works? Across all of these differing contexts, where does consent lie? What is the role of the audience in witnessing the personal?


Sat 5 Oct. 9.45—4pm
Newtown Community Centre

Symposium Speakers

Nina Tonga
Curator of Contemporary Art
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Thierry Jutel
Associate Professor in Film
Victoria University of Wellington
Milly Mitchell-Anyon
Art Historian and Curator

Gavin Hipkins
Artist / Associate Professor
Elam School of Fine Arts
University of Auckland

Dilohana Lekamge
Artis, Wellington

Deme Scott-McGregor (Ngati Awa)
Artist, Wellington

Selina Ershadi
Artist, Auckland

Shannon Te Ao (Ngāti Tūwharetoa)
Artist / Lecturer
Whiti o Rehua School of Art
Toi Rauwharangi College of Creative Arts
Massey University Wellington


From Me To You—


Welcome from AURA/CIRCUIT Director Mark Williams

Nina Tonga—Opening Address


Thierry Jutel—First-person documentary narratives of illness: mode of address, subjectivity, and embodiment

This presentation looks at the specific instances of first-person documentaries where the filmmaker is ill, faces major life changes, a contested diagnosis and often, an uncertain prognosis. This is often in the context of conflicts and/or tensions with medicine, the medical establishment and the social alienation arising out of being ill.

Milly Mitchell- Anyon—Summer Holiday 1962

This paper will consider how one of Patrick Pound’s early moving image works, Summer Holiday 1962, addresses the HIV/AIDS crisis in the mid-1980s. The work was made in 1986, at the same time Aotearoa was passing the Homosexual Law Reform Act in parliament.



Gavin Hipkins—Road Trips at the Peripheries: Excursion Films by Andrew de Freitas and Ben Rivers

This presentation analyses two short films by Andrew de Freitas (NZ/Can) and Ben Rivers (UK) that are slow-paced ambient representations of transient places away from the tourist trail. Both realised in 2009, de Freitas’ Standing Wave and Rivers’ I Know Where I’m Going share a cinematic spirit that pictures wildernesses as lived places for alternative lifestyles while questioning our relationship to an exoticised use, and imaging, of specific landscapes.


Dilohana Lekamge, Deme Scott-McGregor, Selina Ershadi, Shannon Te Ao—Taking the weight

Three films examining inter-generational expectations and cultural inheritance in Aotearoa, followed by a discussion with the artists moderated by Shannon Te Ao:

One Job (2016)—Dilohana Lekamge
Returning home from a late night shift at work, the artist muses firstly on her surroundings and then on the migration of her parent’s generation from Sri Lanka to Aotearoa. It also touches on the pressures and inevitable failure when this high expectation to succeed in desired occupational fields is not met.

The Face of God (2019)—Deme Scott-McGregor
On a train trip from Palmerston North to Wellington, the artist reflects on family, memory and the role of physical photographs to preserve links to loved ones.

Hollywood Ave (2017)—Selina Ershadi
The artist's embodied camera quietly and reticently observes everyday rituals performed within her mother’s home, over which a disembodied voice reads fragments of a letter. These dimly lit domestic scenes are interrupted by the construction and demolition of an archway.


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