Shaun Glad­well
Cycles of Rad­i­cal Will

2nd February – 23rd June 2013
De La Warr Pavilion

Shaun Gladwell’s solo exhi­bi­tion Cycles of Rad­i­cal Will is the Aus­tralian artist’s largest in the UK to date.

The exhi­bi­tion embraces flux and trans­for­ma­tion, reflect­ing the chang­ing sea­sons dur­ing the exhi­bi­tion. Over the course of five months, works are exchanged to offer a sequence of win­dows into Gladwell’s artis­tic prac­tice, uncon­strained by the lim­i­ta­tions of a sin­gle exhi­bi­tion project.

For Cycles of Rad­i­cal Will, Glad­well spec­u­lates on the cre­ative con­flict with­in var­i­ous cul­tur­al prac­tices and tra­di­tions. These con­flicts take the form of bat­tles’ – between beat-box­ers and urban dancers, skate­board­ers and BMX rid­ers, and (Mod) scoot­er enthu­si­asts and (Rock­er) motor­cy­cle rid­ers – and ulti­mate­ly between the extreme sports ath­lete and grav­i­ty itself. Ten­sion between these oppos­ing and often com­ple­men­tary prac­tices is the force that dri­ves groups towards inno­va­tion or oblivion.

Cycles of Rad­i­cal Will extends the artist’s inter­est in mytho­log­i­cal fig­ures and cul­tur­al sto­ries, this time draw­ing upon those spe­cif­ic to the local area. The fig­ure of Jack-in-the-Green, cel­e­brat­ed inHast­ings every spring, appears in a series of videos that depict Jack rid­ing vehi­cles through a vari­ety of envi­ron­ments. At times, the spring’ fig­ure of Jack-in-the-Green trans­forms into the ear­ly twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry fic­tion­al rep­re­sen­ta­tion of win­ter’ Jack Frost. Jack is not a recog­nis­able indi­vid­ual but a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of char­ac­ter­is­tics with­in the human psy­che. The fic­tion­al sta­tus of the fig­ures are then ground­ed’ in activ­i­ties such as motor­cy­cle rid­ing – an activ­i­ty that itself spawns a sub-cul­ture of followers.

Cin­e­ma plays a cen­tral role in Gladwell’s prac­tice. In pre­vi­ous works, the artist has ref­er­enced George Miller’s film tril­o­gy Mad Max. Works for the De La Warr Pavil­ion draw upon ref­er­ences from an array of films includ­ing Robin Hardy’s 1973 cult clas­sic The Wick­er Man, Sam Raimi’s 1981 hor­ror film Evil Dead, David Lean’s 1962 epic Lawrence of Ara­bia, Stan Latham’s 1982 hip hop dra­ma Beat Street and Franc Roddam’s 1979 film Quadrophe­nia (con­nect­ed to The Who’s album from 1973 of the same title).

This exhi­bi­tion is com­mis­sioned by the De La Warr Pavilion.

Images

Shaun Glad­well

Cycles of Rad­i­cal Will, 2013
instal­la­tion view, De La Warr Pavilion
Pho­to: Nigel Green

Shaun Glad­well

Cycles of Rad­i­cal Will, 2013
instal­la­tion view, De La Warr Pavilion
Pho­to: Nigel Green

Shaun Glad­well

Cycles of Rad­i­cal Will, 2013
instal­la­tion view, De La Warr Pavilion
Pho­to: Nigel Green

Shaun Glad­well

Cycles of Rad­i­cal Will, 2013
instal­la­tion view, De La Warr Pavilion
Pho­to: Nigel Green

Shaun Glad­well

BMX Chan­nel, 2013
HD video, colour, sound
12 min­utes 42 seconds
Per­former: Mat­ti Hemmings
Instal­la­tion view, De La Warr Pavilion