Shaun Gladwell gets a firsthand lesson in the art of war…
Australian experimental film director and Supertouch buddy SHAUN GLADWELL has just returned from a tour in Afghanistan as an official “War Artist” drawing inspiration for a new body of work from the action on the front lines. Of particular interest to Gladwell were the experiences of the individual fighters, whose emotional states informed his experience: “I wasn’t interested in photographing sensitive material, in terms of the technology or weapons,” he informed THE ART NEWSPAPER. “My interest was really the experience of the soldier as a thinking and feeling subject. I’m interested in how bodies move through space and the capacity of bodies to perform in certain situations. Particularly how it relates to landscape. These are issues I’m always interested in. That informed the way I was dealing with that experience in Afghanistan. But I didn’t try and direct anything.”
SHAUN GLADWELL ON LIFE IN AFGHANISTAN
The Australian artist’s three-week sojourn with troops will form basis of new work
By Elizabeth Fortescue | The Art Newspaper
SYDNEY. Shaun Gladwell, the Australian multimedia artist who represented his country at the 2009 Venice Biennale, and who has just returned from being an official war artist in Afghan istan, told The Art Newspaper that his experiences were “inspirational” and will inform his next body of work.
Gladwell was speaking on his return from Oruzgan province, where he lived and worked for three weeks alongside Aus tralian soldiers in October 2009. He says he will spend the next six months in his Sydney studio, working to “digest” his experiences while in the field. “I’m cherishing [the trip], and starting to analyse what’s taken place at this particular time,” he said.
Before settling back into his studio to work with the raw photo graphs and moving images he shot in Afghanistan, Gladwell returned to Venice to pack up his Biennale work—a video series titled MADDESTMAXIMVS—Planet & Stars Sequence, 2009, set partly in the Australian outback. Gladwell said it had been a long-held ambition to undertake a tour of duty with Australian fighting forces, stemming from the stories his father had told him about being a soldier in the Vietnam War. Click HERE to continue reading…
All the bombs, guns, and tanks in the world can’t change AFGHANISTAN, but maybe skateboarding can. In war-torn KABUL, where women wear burkhas, and school age children roam the streets instead of studying in classrooms (less than 1% of Afghanis attend college) the first skateboarding school, SKATEISTAN has just opened its doors and is teaching more girls than boys how to ollie. It’s also educating young rippers on the finer points of bowl skating in an abandoned swimming pool formerly used by the Taliban for public executions. Take that, Mullah Omar!