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Shaun Gladwell: The Cinematic

Shaun Gladwell: The Cinematic

As part of Revelation Perth International Film Festival, PICA presents video artist Shaun Gladwell’s meditative investigations of movement under Melbourne’s restrictive COVID-19 lockdown.

For these two recent video works Key Strikes (2022) and Homo Suburbiensis (2020), installed together for the first time, Gladwell operated within the curfewed 5km radius. His signature ‘movement languages’ – skating, BMX riding and climbing and bouldering – play out in an environment of essential only travel and social distancing.

Using traditional filmic devices, shorter durations, multiple edits, voiceover and subtitles, the artist investigates the strategic and creative misuse of civic space. Key Strikes and Homo Suburbiensis act as poetic bookends to Melbourne’s lockdown laws as Gladwell freely (re)claims newly emptied urban spaces.

About the Artist

Shaun Gladwell explores the politics and poetics of human movement within natural, urban and digital environments. Gladwell examines the body’s relationship to its surroundings within a methodology he describes as performative landscapes, whereby the designed and intended function of objects and spaces are questioned, extended and inverted through experimental misuse. The artist engages a wide range of institutional and emerging ‘movement languages such as dance, skate­board­ing, BMX rid­ing, and digitally generated activity. Gladwell’s inves­ti­ga­tion of individual freedom and its spa­tial artic­u­la­tion is reflect­ed in the instal­la­tion struc­tures of the work itself, through the use of archi­tec­tur­al fea­tures, pro­jec­tion sur­faces, mul­ti­chan­nel and extended reality formats.



Homo Suburbiensis, 2021
4k video, colour, sound
13 minutes, 5 seconds
Courtesy of the Artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery.  Collection of Liza Blakiston.

Key Strikes, 2022
4k video, colour, stereo sound
21 minutes 16 seconds

Homo Suburbiensis and Key Strikes were performed and produced in Naarm.  The artist wishes to acknowledge the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land on which these works were made, the Peoples of the Kulin Nation.