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Auckland Triennial curator asks 'If you were to live here...'
Anri Sala, 3-2-1 2011. Live performance featuring saxophone player responding to the film Long Sorrow (still). Photo by Sylvain Deleu.

AUCKLAND.- Visiting Auckland a few weeks ago was Hou Hanru, one of the most influential curators in the world today and curator of the 5th Auckland Triennial opening 10 May 2013.

The largest Auckland Triennial to date, the three-month festival of contemporary art will be presented at eight venues citywide. For the first time, entry to all venues will be free.

Titled If you were to live here … the 5th Auckland Triennial offers a way artists and creative participants can inhabit and transform social spaces by producing innovative ideas, projects and works. The Triennial will provide opportunities to connect with different communities, as well as collaborations among various partners in and out of the city. It will invite discussion, confrontation and the exchange of ideas.

‘A triennial,’ says Hou ‘is a space for producing new aesthetic forms and social spaces. As a living process, it is not only an occasion to see art, but an interaction between artists, people and the city to envisage possible futures.’

Hou has curated numerous triennials, biennials and exhibitions internationally, from exhibitions in San Francisco and Shanghai to the top biennales of Istanbul, Venice and Lyon. He has invited 35 New Zealand and international artists, collectives and architects to respond to the diverse cultural, social, architectural and urban characteristics of Auckland.

‘Hou’s considerable reputation has been instrumental in attracting a strong group of artists from 15 countries to the 5th Triennial’, says spokesperson, Auckland Art Gallery director Chris Saines. ‘Since its inception in 2000, the Auckland Triennial has worked with partners across the city to jointly develop and present a lively and publicly engaging contribution to the conversation about art and its relationship to the wider world. Under Hou’s guidance, the Triennial is shaping up to expand that conversation in some exciting new ways.’

International participants include:

• Multi-disciplinary artist Singaporean Ho Tzu Nyen whose exhibitions include his solo work The Cloud of Unknowing at the 54th Venice Biennale 2011 and Mori Art Museum, Japan, in 2012; and screening at Cannes International Film Festival, 2009.

• Albanian artist Anri Sala whose works, primarily in film and video, bring together documentary, history, language and cultural memory. This year, he had a solo exhibition at Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, and was shown recently at Serpentine Gallery, London and the 9th Gwangju Biennale, China.

• Film, photography and video artist American Amie Siegel whose stylistic use of film genres has seen her work shown at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Germany, the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC and numerous film festivals including Cannes.

• Multi-disciplinary artist Shahzia Sikander from Pakistan whose work explores the hybridity of her experiences and the integration of Hindu and Muslim culture. She has had solo exhibitions at Walter and McBean Galleries SFAI 2011, MCA Tokyo, 2010 and MCA Sydney 2007.

• Korean artist Do-Ho Suh whose sculptures and installations – exhibited at the Hiroshima MOCA, 2012, Tate Modern in 2010 and at the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale - explore spatial dynamics and cultural difference in unanticipated form.

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