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turbulence: 3rd Auckland Triennial 2007

3rd Auckland Triennial 2007

MEDIA RELEASE – 23 September 2007

Welcome to the launch of the 3rd Auckland Triennial - New Zealand’s premier international contemporary art event.

This multi-venue exhibition provides a window onto the world of contemporary art, creating a dialogue between local artists and their global counterparts.

Forty artists from over 20 countries present major works never seen before in New Zealand from diverse mediums including painting, sculpture, photography, video, installation, film, performance and international collaborative actions.

Big name stars like Turners Prize finalists Isaac Julien (UK), Phil Collins (UK) and Willie Doherty (Northern Ireland), Mona Hatoum (Palestine/UK), Fiona Hall (Australia), the Long March (China) and Carlos Garaicoa (Cuba) present works alongside nine New Zealanders including Shane Cotton, John Pule and Yuk King Tan.

Renowned international curator Victoria Lynn says the 3rd Auckland Triennial will address the condition of turbulence.

“We live in turbulent times. Our cultural and political environment is complex and unpredictable. The artists in this exhibition engage with the emotional flux of their daily reality, responding to the ambient hopes and fears in our midst. They create aesthetic interventions - active, vital and alternative ways of looking at the world around us."

“turbulence includes stories of ancestry and exile; journeys through literal and imagined spaces and reflections upon the fragility of existence and humanity’s capacity for resistance and resilience,” she says.

Auckland Art Gallery director Chris Saines says the Auckland Triennial gives the public access to some of the world’s most innovative new art - without leaving the country.

“The Triennial puts Auckland on the map of the international arts community. It allows us to thematically drive the way social and political issues are explored by invited artists and sets the stage for a continuing dialogue between us and the rest of the world,” he says.

The 3rd Auckland Triennial coincides with AK07 and will be the Auckland Festival’s key visual arts event.

The opening weekend includes a keynote address by prominent Cuban curator and writer Gerardo Mosquera and a must-see performance by Walid Raad’s Atlas Group (Lebanon/NY).

Since the launch of the 1st Auckland Triennial Bright Paradise in 2001, this three-yearly event has shown 70 artists from 14 different countries, attracted over 30,000 visitors and received extensive international media coverage. The 2nd Auckland Triennial Public/Private: Tumatanui/Tumataiti won Metro magazine’s 2004 Exhibition of the Year award.

turbulence 3rd Auckland Triennial is presented by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki in partnership with ARTSPACE, The Gus Fisher Gallery, St Paul St Gallery and Academy Cinemas.

It opens on 9 March 2007 across all five venues. Closing dates are staggered:

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki until 3 June 2007
ARTSPACE until 15 April 2007
The Gus Fisher Gallery until 28 April 2007
St Paul St Gallery until 21 April 2007
Academy Cinemas programme dates to be announced
exhibition + symposium + publication + events + films + performances
All Day Pass: Adult $7, Concession/Friends of the Festival $5, Friends of the Gallery $4,
Under 5s free


ARTIST LIST – first wave announced 20 September 2006

New Zealand artists

Eve Armstrong
Kah Bee Chow
Shane Cotton
Julian Hooper
Daniel Malone
John Pule
Sriwhana Spong
Yuk King Tan
Areta Wilkinson

International artists

Phil Collins - UK
Donna Conlon - Panama
Christina Dimitriadis - Greece
Willie Doherty - Northern Ireland
Regina Jose Galindo - Guatemala
Carlos Garaicoa - Cuba
Fiona Hall - Australia
Mona Hatoum - UK / Palestine
Isaac Julien – UK
Lucia Madriz – Costa Rica
Long March - PRC
Lucia Madriz – Costa Rica
Lázaro Armando Saavedra González - Cuba
Lynette Wallworth - Australia

A second and final list of artists will be announced by Victoria Lynn in November


The Concept – Victoria Lynn

“At no other time in history have so many people been moving around the world. This movement of peoples has been both in the spirit of hope and in the spirit of despair, as travellers take a tourist route, immigrants find new homes, and asylum seekers go in search of sanctuary. How we receive the guest is one of the key issues of our times. The movement of peoples has its basis in the colonising forces of the 18th and 19th centuries, the effects of which still reverberate today. This is manifested not only in the form of local racial tensions, but also in the effects of globalisation. The globalisation of international communications networks, trade, agriculture, currencies, security and information systems has inherited colonial attitudes.

In turbulent times, the feelings of loss, fear, anguish, grief and anger, along with the notions of hope, passion, sustenance, the capacity to dream and find refuge rise to the surface. Such emotions might arise from a loss of sovereignty, identity, or a sense of home. Equally they can arise from subjection. In general, the sources of such feelings are not necessarily clear. They are everywhere and they are nowhere - emotions have multiple reference points within a complex and changing environment.

Within this context, artists have the ability to create constructive interventions. Art has the capacity to provide hope, a voice of difference, protest and, in general, an active, living, and vital alternative expression. Artists often begin a work with the emotional filter situated at the heart of the work. The question for them is not, how can I present the concept of hybridity, but rather, how do I convey a sense of both longing and belonging. The principle is not, how do I analyse globalisation, but how can I intervene in its absurdity. These are subtle differences but important ones. The best of contemporary art does not illustrate theory, it emerges from the emotional flux of life itself.

The exhibition turbulence deals with this emotional flux. Previous exhibitions that have encompassed an interest in global systems and migration, have either analysed the various manifestations of modernism in contemporary art, or have focused on the identity of artists and their cultural difference. This exhibition seeks to build on such precursors, by shifting the emphasis to the emotional manifestations of global turbulence. This exhibition is not so much about where one is from, or where one is going, but the pervading emotional states that emerge from real and imagined journeys.

As an island nation, New Zealand is an appropriate location for such concerns to be exhibited. The sea that surrounds these islands has carried many stories colonisation, survival, sustenance and economic exchange. Broadly populated by British and European descendents, it is home, too, for significant populations of Pacific Islanders and Asian immigrants. Like many nations today, New Zealanders are acutely aware of the dependencies that are inherent in trade with larger nations. The artists in New Zealand deal with a range of issues, but of particular interest are images of familial ties, symbols of transition between cultures, and an awareness of what is at stake in the trade of objects and ideas in the Pacific region."


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