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Australian art

Contemporary art

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Double field/viewfinder (Tarin Kowt)



Shaun Gladwell


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 real time, 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.


Other Title

Campo doble/visor (Tarin Kowt)

Place where the work was made




Media category

Time-based art

Materials used

dual channel digital video, colour, sound


AP 1, from an edition of 4 + 2 APs


duration: 00:18:39 min, aspect ratio: 16:9

Signature & date

Signed l.c. certificate of authenticity, black fibre-tipped pen "Shaun Gladwell". Not dated.


Gift of the artist 2012. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Shaun Gladwell

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Shown in 5 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 7 publications


Rex Butler., Shaun Gladwell: stereo sequences, 'Shaun Gladwell: stereo sequences' by Sarah Tutton; 'The video conceit', Melbourne, 2011, (colour illus., video still). not paginated

Francisco Carpio, The power of doubt, 'Shaun Gladwell', pg. 74-81, 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)'

Stephen Hepworth, Shaun Gladwell: perpetual 360° sessions, 'Extracts from the diary of a wanderer', pg. 6-13, Heerlen, 2011, 12, 74-75 (colour illus., video still).

Catherine Keenan., The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Artist goes to war armed with handycam', Sydney, 09 Jul 2010. viewed 10.10.2012,

Kit Messham-Muir, Contemporary + Visual Art Broadsheet, 'In the mime-network', pg. 123-125, Adelaide, Autumn 2011, 123 (colour illus., video still), 124, 125. viewed 10.10.2012,

Lily Wei, ARTnews, 'In harm's way', pg. 42-49, Manhattan, Apr 2015, 42-43 (colour illus., video still), 44. photograph of shoot

Natalie Wilson and Anneke Jaspers, Foundation Newsletter #22, 'Curators' and coordinators' reports: Australian art', pg. 6-7, Sydney, Jun 2013, 7.