(Australia 1972– )
Shaun Gladwell is one of Australia’s foremost contemporary artists, whose work investigates the physical body engaged in sub-cultural performances within various urban environments. 'Double Field/Viewfinder (Tarin Kowt)' 2009-2010 was produced during the artist’s tenure as an Australian official war artist in Afghanistan (the town of Tarin Kowt being home to the NATO-ISAF base in southern Afghanistan). Gladwell was the first to use the medium of video/ video installation in the history of the scheme, the moving image lending itself to explorations in the role of technology, particularly media coverage, communication and surveillance, in contemporary warfare.
In October 2009 Gladwell was drafted into the Australian Defence Force for three weeks where he participated in military operations and gathered footage for future works. A synchronised dual-channel High Definition video, televised on two screens facing one another, presents two soldiers stood in the Afghan desert. These two figures, rendered in slow-motion, are caught in a standoff as they simultaneously circle, imitate and ‘shoot’ one another with their hand-held cameras.
These scenes are far removed from the skateboarding and break dancing which the artist is renowned for, however the work retains those situational elements of body, movement and landscape which address the nature of occupation and conflict.
Stephen Hepworth (Editor), Shaun Gladwell: perpetual 360° sessions, Heerlen, 2011, 12, 74-75 (colour illus., video still).
Alberto Anaut (b.1955) (Editor), The power of doubt, Madrid, 2011, 76 (colour illus., video still), 77 (colour illus., video still), 78 (colour illus., video still), 79 (colour illus., video still), 80 (colour illus., video still), 81 (colour illus., video still). titled ‘Campo doble/visor (Tarin Kowt)’
Sarah Tutton (Author), Shaun Gladwell: stereo sequences, Melbourne, 2011, (colour illus., video still). not paginated
‘In the mime-network’ by Kit Messham-Muir, pg. 123-125., Contemporary + Visual Art Broadsheet Autumn 2011, Autumn 2011, 123 (colour illus., video still), 124, 125. viewed 10.10.2012, <http://www.cacsa.org.au/Broadsheet/Current/40_2/40_2_Muin.pdf>
‘Artist goes to war armed with handycam’ by Catherine Keenan., The Sydney Morning Herald 09 Jul 2010, 09 Jul 2010. viewed 10.10.2012, <http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/artist-goes-to-war-armed-with-handycam-20100708-102cu.html>