press release

The 4th Auckland Triennial, Last Ride in a Hot Air Balloon investigates adventure and risk as productive tools within the field of art. The title sets up a provocation for the adventurous condition: that it is itself in an era of conclusion or culmination.

Querying the inheritance of modernity's taste for expansion across all modes of political, economic and cultural exploration, and set within the current global economic contraction, the exhibition leaves us with adventure and risk suspended as possibilities. The subject of adventure during vulnerable economic times has a context specific relationship to the city of Auckland, New Zealand's business hub, having shouldered the brunt of the country's pioneering economic reforms of the 1980s and the 1987 stock market crash.

While looking at historic modes of risk and adventure and their impulses, the exhibition focuses on art works that concentrate our attention on alternative and less impacting modes of exploration. Accordingly, themes of alternative economies; misplaced geographic exploration; formal exploration within delimited means; and risk as a stimulus for engagement all emerge within the selection. The result promises to provide an exhibition space which itself allows room to contemplate the potential freedom for adventures within the space of the viewing experience.

Over the opening weekend Last Ride will feature a full programme of artist talks, performances and speakers panels, generating a lively space in the urban Auckland environment. Forums will expand on ideas central to the theme of Last Ride in a Hot Air Balloon including: the Experience and History of Adventure, Alternative Solutions for Living, Adventurous Materiality, Physical Freedoms and Political Spaces without Polarity.

The May Symposium (21-23 May) will feature an International Speakers forum and is timed to follow the opening week of the Biennale of Sydney.

The research for the 4th Auckland Triennial has focused on a horizontal axis across the globe from Asia to the Middle East, distorting the typical travel route from Southern to Northern hemispheres, revealed in the mix of artists.

The exhibition features 29 artists associated with 18 countries: Nick Austin (New Zealand), Mahmoud Bakhshi (Iran), Richard Bell (Kamilaroi, Kooma, Jiman and Gurang Gurang peoples, Australia), Johanna Billing (Sweden), Martin Boyce (Scotland), Gerard Byrne (Ireland), Shahab Fotouhi (Iran), Alicia Frankovich (New Zealand), Shilpa Gupta (India), Sharon Hayes (USA), Robert Hood (New Zealand), Marine Hugonnier (France/UK), Shigeyuki Kihara (Japan/Samoa/New Zealand), Laresa Kosloff (Australia), Learning Site (Denmark/Sweden), Jorge Macchi (Argentina), Alex Monteith (New Zealand), Tom Nicholson (Australia), Mike Parr (Australia), Philippe Parreno (France), Garrett Phelan (Ireland), Bundith Phunsombatlert (Thailand), Olivia Plender (UK), Walid Sadek (Lebanon), Tino Sehgal (UK/Germany), Michael Stevenson (New Zealand/Germany), Tove Storch (Denmark), and Zheng Bo (China)

The Triennial is accompanied by a 136 page full-colour catalogue. Illustrated throughout, with an impressive range of new writing including major essays by curator Natasha Conland, Doryun Chong and Leonhard Emmerling, along with 28 newly commissioned essays on each artist.

The Auckland Triennial is New Zealand's leading international contemporary art exhibition. With 5 centrally located venues, the Triennial actively encourages dialogue between local/international audiences and artists. These discussions are inspired by the visual stimulation of the art as well as the concept surrounding the exhibition.

The 4th Auckland Triennial, Last Ride in a Hot Air Balloon
Kurator: Natasha Conland

Künstler: Nick Austin, Mahmoud Bakhshi, Richard Bell, Johanna Billing, Martin Boyce, Gerard Byrne, Shahab Fotouhi, Alicia Frankovich, Shilpa Gupta, Sharon Hayes, Robert Hood, Marine Hugonnier, Shigeyuki Kihara, Laresa Kosloff, Learning Site, Jorge Macchi, Alex Monteith, Tom Nicholson, Mike Parr, Philippe Parreno, Garrett Phelan, Bundith Phunsombatlert, Olivia Plender, Walid Sadek, Tino Sehgal, Michael Stevenson, Tove Storch, Zheng Bo