Re-inventing New Zealand: Essays on the arts and the media by Roger Horrocks
This newly published book offers an insightful personal commentary on major shifts in New Zealand cultural history from the 1930s until nowadays. It is especially valuable as it is written by a person who, through the most of this period, has been directly involved in shaping and re-inventing the New Zealand art and culture scene.
More than in others, the author is interested in those writers and artists who remain in New Zeland but have a strong international awareness. In a similar way, “think globally, act locally” turns up to be his own life principle.
Emeritus Professor Roger Horrocks is widely known as an expert on the life and work of New Zealand-born artist Len Lye. He founded the Department of Film, Television and Media Studies at The University of Auckland and co-founded the Auckland International Film Festival.
He regards himself a critic, organiser and teacher. Once in a while, he takes a role of an artist too, believing it is beneficial for any good critic, organiser and teacher to experience the process of making art.
The selection of 21 essays written in the last 30 years covers a whole range of themes related to New Zealand literature, visual arts, music, film and television. With masterly skill, Horrocks discusses the most complex issues in a lively and engaging manner, often referring to his personal interest and experience:
“If I am excited about something new, I want to share it, and most of my essays have taken their starting-point from that impulse – a crusade of sorts”.