Shaun Glad­well
Homo Sub­ur­bi­en­sis

6th February – 24th April 2021
Anna Schwartz Gallery

Homo Sub­ur­bi­en­sis gives equal weight to the artist’s prac­tices of paint­ing and mov­ing image. Through for­mal and con­cep­tu­al links, most obvi­ous­ly through the image as sequenced in both paint­ed and cin­e­mat­ic form, a dia­logue is estab­lished between a sin­gle-chan­nel mov­ing image work, and a series of paintings.

Unmount­ed and lean­ing direct­ly against the gallery wall, Gladwell’s new paint­ings are for­mat­ted and installed to the same spec­i­fi­ca­tions as the artist’s Anony­mous Fig­ures’ series from the 1990s and ear­ly 2000s. Vari­a­tion is expressed with­in a self imposed con­ven­tion that uses skate­board wheels as phys­i­cal sup­ports – an affir­ma­tion of objects sup­port­ing images. The paint­ings con­tin­ue to appro­pri­ate and jux­ta­pose images from the his­to­ry of paint­ing and graph­ic illus­tra­tion in either direct dia­logue to the video, via har­monised colour, or through dis­cur­sive links such as move­ment and scale that lead back to ques­tions of the body.

The video, Homo Sub­ur­bi­en­sis (2020), after which the exhi­bi­tion is titled, sur­veys every­day actions. Ini­tial­ly, these are per­formed and defined sep­a­rate­ly but soon they merge into cate­nat­ed, hybrid movements.

The work sig­nif­i­cant­ly devel­ops Gladwell’s ongo­ing study of human move­ment through its use of the film-essay and sci­en­tif­ic doc­u­men­tary struc­ture, and con­tin­ues the artist’s ongo­ing engage­ment with per­for­ma­tive action as a way to cre­ative­ly mis-use objects and envi­ron­ments. Homo Sub­ur­bi­en­sis (2020) con­sid­ers the rela­tion­ship of action to actor in phys­i­cal and vir­tu­al spaces that offer absurd dis­lo­ca­tions. The use of voice-over and cin­e­mat­ic fram­ing presents a faux-sci­en­tif­ic obser­va­tion of every­day activ­i­ties such as eat­ing, run­ning and danc­ing. Ini­tial­ly clas­si­fied’ as sep­a­rate and dis­tinct, the actions even­tu­al­ly syn­the­sise into hybrid forms.

Human move­ment takes cen­tral impor­tance in the video work as a way to chal­lenge and trans­form the design and intend­ed func­tion of one’s imme­di­ate envi­ron­ment, from object and tools, to a ques­tion­ing of the body itself and its capac­i­ty to act with­in var­i­ous pub­lic and pri­vate spaces. (Func­tion and cre­ative mis­use as a norm.) Non func­tion­al art objects are momen­tar­i­ly used’ in Homo Sub­ur­bi­en­sis (2020). Andy Warhol’s Bril­lo Box’ sculp­tures are appro­pri­at­ed as ready­made plat­forms for yoga; a kitchen bench becomes a stage for bal­anc­ing a BMX bicycle.

The sig­nif­i­cance of find­ing new func­tion with­in the domes­tic has recent­ly shift­ed for many peo­ple in the world. Over the past few months, the cre­ative use of objects and spaces was not mere­ly exper­i­men­tal, but nec­es­sary due to the social restric­tions in place. In the case of Homo Sub­ur­bi­en­sis (2020), we see an almost futile effort by the indi­vid­ual to trans­late out­door activ­i­ties into domes­tic inte­ri­ors, while extend­ing the notion of exer­cise, run­ning in par­tic­u­lar, to its most con­tem­po­rary extreme, the ultra-marathon. Shaun Glad­well mutates it into art.

Images

Shaun Glad­well

Homo Sub­ur­bi­en­sis, 2021
Instal­la­tion view, Anna Schwartz Gallery
Pho­to: Zan Wimberley

Shaun Glad­well

Homo Sub­ur­bi­en­sis, 2021
Instal­la­tion view, Anna Schwartz Gallery
Pho­to: Zan Wimberley

Shaun Glad­well

Homo Sub­ur­bi­en­sis, 2020
(still) High Def­i­n­i­tion video (4K), colour, sound
13 min­utes 5 seconds

Shaun Glad­well

Bull’s Head R Plus Seven, 2021
(detail) sculp­ture, mount­ed pho­to­graph, record, shelf
sculp­ture 33.5 × 43.5 × 19 cm; pho­to­graph: 31.239 cm; record 3131 cm; shelf 748 cm
Pho­to: Zan Wimberley

Shaun Glad­well

Bull’s Head R Plus Seven, 2021
sculp­ture, mount­ed pho­to­graph, record, shelf
sculp­ture 33.5 × 43.5 × 19 cm; pho­to­graph: 31.239 cm; record 3131 cm; shelf 748 cm

Shaun Glad­well

Bull’s Head R Plus Seven, 2021
(detail) sculp­ture, mount­ed pho­to­graph, record, shelf
sculp­ture 33.5 × 43.5 × 19 cm; pho­to­graph: 31.239 cm; record 3131 cm; shelf 748 cm