The 4th Auckland Triennial: Last Ride in a Hot Air Balloon


exhibition Details

Key events

Curator: Natasha Conland, Curator Contemporary Art, Auckland Art Gallery

The 4th Auckland Triennial aimed to increase the number of visiting artists, international participants and new commissions and to consolidate shifts in previous Triennials.

With the main building closed for redevelopment, the Gallery remained committed to devoting the whole of the Auckland Art Gallery operation in the New Gallery to the 4th Triennial and contemporary art. The curator was keen to take the exhibition outside conventional gallery spaces and into the city. Shed 6 in the old City Works Depot provided a large industrial space associated with café and retail outlets to reach a different audience.

A free guidebook was produced to provide more information on artists, works and events and two symposiums were held, in March and May.

Twenty-eight artists from 18 countries – New Zealand, Argentina, Australia, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Iran, Ireland, Lebanon, Samoa/Japan, Scotland, Sweden, Thailand, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Visit the 4th Auckland Triennial website for more information



Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, New Gallery and showing across the city at ArtspaceST PAUL StGeorge Fraser Gallery and Shed 6, 90 Wellesley St.



The 4th Triennial curated by Natasha Conland looked at the nature of adventure and its related risks. The theme was developed at a time of imminent crisis, prior to the global economic recession of 2009, and with debates on the sustainability of our environment coming to the fore. Its title Last Ride in a Hot Air Balloon reflected the mood of this moment. It was the curator's intention 'to explore the legacy of ideas such as adventure, capital production and risk-taking from a critical perspective.'

Artists were invited to consider adventure and its related risks from personal, environment, material, psychological and political perspectives. The result was an exhibition that asked artists and audiences alike to consider 'an alternative means for adventuring and risk-taking for a sustainable future'.

Curatorial research generated a focus on artists from Asia and the Middle East.



Artists in red indicate works that were acquired from the exhibition and form the Auckland Triennial Collection. Artists with aterisks beside their names means that they have works in the Auckland Art Gallery Collection.

  • Nick Austin, New Zealand*
  • Mahmoud Bakhshi, Iran
  • Richard Bell, Australia
  • Johanna Billing, Sweden
  • Martin Boyce, Scotland
  • Gerard Byrne, Ireland
  • Shahab Fotouhi, Iran
  • Alicia Frankovich, New Zealand
  • Shilpa Gupta, India
  • Sharon Hayes, United States of America
  • Robert Hood, New Zealand*
  • Marine Hugonnier, France/United Kingdom
  • 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, United Kingdom
  • Walid Sadek, Lebanon
  • Tino Sehgal, United Kingdom/Germany
  • Michael Stevenson, New Zealand/Germany*
  • Tove Storch, Denmark
  • Zheng Bo, China



The 4th Auckland Triennial catalogue was edited by Natasha Conland. 136 pages. RRP $35

Last Ride in a Hot Air Balloon contained essays by the curator Natasha Conland, Doryun Chong and Leonhard Emmerling. An alphabetical section on the artists included commissioned essays on each artist, followed by the list of works and brief artist biographies. 136 pages.

Full list of artist page contributors: Fadi El Abdallah, Alejandra Aguado, Matthias Hvass Borello, Will Bradley, Ron Brownson, Danny Butt, Natasha Conland, Brian Dillon, Harold Grieves, Louise Hojer, Sarah Hopkinson, Zehra Jumabhoy, Leila Khastoo, Lars Bang Larsen, Caoimin Mac Giolla Leith, Mihnea Mircan, Rosalind Nashashibi, Anna Parlane, Patricia C Phillips, Maura Reilly, Dr Edward Scheer, Jeannine Tang, James M Thomas, Andy Thomson, Hyejong Yoo, Hamed Yousefi.

A free multi-venue exhibition guide provided a single colour image plus short text on each artist, alongside venue maps and public programme information. 64 pages. Published by Auckland Art Gallery

e-flux, 16 May 2010, published an abridged version of Bilal Khebiz's Triennial keynote presentation, 'Michael Jackson Died for No Reason (and the Vampire that is His Life)'.

Rikke Luther, House of Economy, published by Learning Site, Denmark


Key events

Opening weekend and international symposia

Keynote speaker: Bilal Khbeiz from Lebanon

Doryun Chong, Associate Curator Painting at MoMA, New York, was invited to participate in the Triennials opening programme contributing to forum and discussions. His trip was supported by CNZ's Te Manu Ka Tau international visitor's programme.

Opening weekend speakers included Wystan Curnow, Doryun Chong, David Cross, Mercedes Vicente, Jon Bywater, Emma Bugden, Reuben Keenan, Russell Storer, Mahmoud Bakshi, Shahab Fotouhi, Zheng Bo, Shigeyuki Kihara, Laresa Kosloff, Anna Macrae, Alex Monteith, Nick Austin, Bundith Phunsombatlert, Tove Storch, Rob Hood, Tom Nicholson, and Michael Stevenson.

March symposium: panel topics were 'Mapping the Territory: Curatorial Wandering', 'Physical Freedoms: Explorations of the Body', 'Adventurous Materials' and 'Alternative Solutions for Living in the Global Environment and Economy'.

May curatorial symposium: The two themes were 'The Exhibition: The Medium of the Exhibition as an Experience 'and 'The Medium of Art Criticism, Review and Reception'. Keynote addresses were given by Bettina Steinbrugge (Germany) and Lee Weng Choy (Singapore). New Zealand presenters were Jan Bryant, Jon Bywater, Tyler Cann, Natasha Conland, Charlotte Huddleston and Gwyneth Porter.


Performances and events

A public programme of activities was developed to stimulate wider public engagement, including 52 artist and curator talks, 20 general talks, four film screenings, three performances and a fashion parade by AUT fashion and design students responding to the theme of risk and adventure.


Family programmes

Sunday Kids' workshops and two holiday programmes were provided both at the New Gallery and Shed 6.


Education groups

A dedicated schools programme was offered. A partner programme with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra produced a workshop and performance for talented music and composition students from Diocesan School students on the themes of modern culture, technology, sustainable living, history and myths.



List of archives held at the E H McCormick Library, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

  • Video resources
  • Reviews: Art New Zealand (Alan Smith); Broadsheet vol.39 no.1, pp60-62 (Rueben Keehan). Not available to view online – please contact the Library



The 4th Auckland Triennial could not have been realised without the assistance and cooperation of the following partners, patrons, sponsors and supporters:

Triennial partners:
Founding Partner Auckland Art Gallery with
Auckland Triennial Partner AUT University

Exhibition partners:
George Fraser Gallery

Major supporters:
Foundation Patron, Sue Fisher Art Trust
Chartwell Trust
Patrons of the Triennial: Dame Jenny Gibbs, Rose and John Dunn, John and Jo Gow, Dayle and Chris Mace, Fran and Geoff Ricketts, Andrew and Jenny Smith, Adrienne, Lady Stewart, Lady Philippa Tait and the Thanksgiving Foundation
Art FiveO Trust

Cultural agencies:
Creative New Zealand
Australia Council for the Arts
Statens Kunstrad
Danish Arts Council
Culture Ireland
Goethe Institut
Asia New Zealand Foundation
Embassy of France
Ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen)

Supporting sponsors:
The University of Auckland
Elliott Hotel
Aalto Colour

Core funder:
Auckland City Council

Curated by
Natasha Conland
Free entry

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