auckland

Jim Speers

Starkwhite

Auckland’s Karangahape Road (popularly “K Road”) is the closest thing the city has to a gallery strip. But the street is also well known as Auckland’s alternative shopping destination, a funky if decrepit alternative to the well-kept but generic city center. So it was entirely consistent with its context that “Crystal Spirit,” Jim Speers’s exhibition at Starkwhite, a K Road staple, alluded to the aesthetics of hipster clothing stores. With a set of large framed digital images screenprinted with text on the wall and a geometric decal spread across gleaming white vinyl flooring, Speers conflated the warehouse-style gallery with a warehouse-style boutique. Arguably more effective seen from the street through the building’s large picture windows than from inside the room itself, the show nonetheless exerted a slick, seductive pull.

Whether or not the display’s superficial attractiveness was

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