previews

Auckland

The 5th Auckland Triennial

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Corner of Kitchener and Wellesley Streets
May 10–August 11

Curated by Hou Hanru

The fifth edition of Auckland’s festival of contemporary art baits its audience with the title “If you were to live here . . .” and invites more than thirty artists and collectives—including Anri Sala, Allora and Calzadilla, Peter Robinson, and Luke Willis Thompson—to complete curator Hou Hanru’s open-ended line. Such a conceit could easily feel flat these days, but Hou—for whom the exhibition is “an interaction between artists, people, and the city to envisage possible futures”—has plenty of experience in making such speculative, relational shows into something solid. Drawing extensively on Auckland’s academic and gallery networks, this 2013 triennial meditates on the kind of twenty-first-century place New Zealand’s metropolis could be. It’s a tough brief, but for a city with rapidly growing wealth, an expanding population, and a pointed desire to be seen through an internationalist lens, Hou’s leading question may provoke some challenging answers.