In the Urban Jungle
Hou Hanru Curates the 5th Auckland Triennial
||The distinguished curator Hou Hanru
is involved in matters pertaining to contemporary art worldwide. He has
organized biennials, triennials, and exhibitions in Lyon, Istanbul, San
Francisco, Tirana, Venice, and Guangzhou. Now Hou, a member of Deutsche
Bank’s Global Art Advisory Council, is active in New Zealand, where he
is curating the 5th Auckland Triennial, considered by many to be the country’s most important art event.
the motto “If you were to live here…” Hou is showing more than 35
international artists and architects who engage with urban spaces and
living conditions. The works are on exhibit in the Auckland Art Gallery
as well as eight other venues in the city center. “Overcoming
oppression is our path to unity” is written on the wall painting
affixed to the façade of the Fresh Gallery Otara. The colorful agitprop work was executed by Emory Douglas, the Minister of Culture of the American Black Panther Party in the 1970s, together with Rigo 23 of Portugal and the New Zealander Wayne Youle. Other works convey their messages more subtly. For example, Luke Willis Thompson’s installation consisting of three garage doors and safety lamps reflects suburbanites’ anxieties.
The Atelier Bow-Wow
architectural studio in Japan designs miniature buildings in response
to the cramped living conditions typical of Tokyo. For the triennial,
the architects and artist Michael Lin designed a small Model Home which fits in the exhibition hall of the Auckland Art Gallery. Lin is represented in the Deutsche Bank Collection. In the bank rooms
in the ICC Tower in Hong Kong he covered a wall with floral patterns.
Other artists from the collection are also on view at the triennial. Yto Barrada is showing nine photographic works dealing with social changes in her home city Tangier, Shahzia Sikander is presenting her most recent animated video Parallax, and Anri Sala is screening the film Long Sorrow,
a work she created in 2005 in the Märkische Viertel on the periphery of
Berlin. The music of a saxophone player and pictures of typical 1970s
high-rise architecture blend into a swan song of long-passé ideas about
human life and living conditions.
5th Auckland Triennial
5/10 – 8/112013