Shaun Gladwell: Stereo Sequences – a major new commission of works by the London-based Australian artist, Shaun Gladwell.
Shaun Gladwell: Stereo Sequences has been conceived and created for ACMI’s unique subterranean gallery and features a series of multi-screen video moving image works that explore concepts of duality, parallels and mirroring.
Using filmic devices such as long pans and slow-motion to capture tightly choreographed, repetitive performances by classical ballerinas, helicopters, motorcycles, muscle cars, trials bike-riders and skateboarders, Gladwell’s latest offerings radiate a distinct Australian sensibility, inspired by the unique landscape and local film culture, including Ozploitation era films.
Many of the works are set in distinct Australian locations such as the Wollemi National Park, the open plains of Broken Hill and even Sydney’s M5 underpass, each landscape a central character in the resulting work.
ACMI Director, Mr Tony Sweeney, said today the centres largest single commission by an Australian artist, reflected Gladwell’s growing international reputation.
“Shaun Gladwell has an enviable international reputation as one of Australia’s leading video artists and we are thrilled to be working with him on the creation of what is a stunning series of works,” he said. “This significant new commission reflects our strong commitment to supporting Australian artists, both established and emerging, and the ongoing development of contemporary moving image art practice in this country.”
For Shaun Gladwell, this commission is an opportunity to further explore Australian culture through his practice.
“I'm stoked to be undertaking a new body of work for ACMI. I've long been fascinated with ideas of motion and landscape and this commission allows me to further develop my work that looks at performance - particularly with bodies and machines - as it responds to various Australian environments.”
“Many of these works critically reflect upon the rich tradition of action feature film making in Australia.”
Since bursting onto the contemporary art scene in 2000, Gladwell has since gained international recognition for his evocative large-scale video works, photographs and sculptures combining contemporary phenomena with conventions in Art History and traditional landscape painting. His artworks reveal a wide range of inspirations, from Leonardo da Vinci, the German Romantic landscape tradition and American conceptual artist Dan Graham, through to Australian cinematic icons and youth cultures.
Despite his broad inspirations, the moving image remains pivotal to Gladwell’s practice. From his breakout video Storm Sequence (2000) - a meditative single channel video of the artist skateboarding freestyle against the stormy Turner-esque backdrop of Bondi beach - to his Mad Max-inspired installation as Australia’s representative at the 2009 Venice Biennale, MADDESTMAXIMVS (2009), Gladwell continues to create compelling video and moving image installations that also serve as mediations on the nature, themes and possibilities of the medium.
In 2009 he was the Australian War Memorial’s official war artist, assigned to the Australian Defence Force in Afghanistan and in the Middle East.