Schwartz City

Release date: 31 May 2009
ISBN: 9781863954419
Imprint: Schwartz City
For­mat: HB
Size: 300240mm
Extent: 160pp

Pub­lished on the occa­sion of the 2009 Venice Bien­nale, MAD­DEST­MAX­IMVS: PLAN­ET & STARS SEQUENCE is a project, book and cat­a­logue doc­u­ment­ing a new major body of work by Shaun Glad­well. The pub­li­ca­tion maps the project in its entire­ty. Com­menc­ing in 2007, MAD­DEST­MAX­IMVS has con­tin­ued with a series of record­ed per­for­mances and sculp­tures that inves­ti­gate rep­re­sen­ta­tions of land­scape and the mytho­log­i­cal fig­ures that are pro­ject­ed into these spaces. Gladwell’s instal­la­tion in the Aus­tralian Pavil­ion in Venice com­prised of sev­er­al projects inter­sect­ing one anoth­er in var­i­ous loca­tions and per­for­mances. Rather than pic­tur­ing land­scapes, Gladwell’s project ques­tions the very his­to­ry and rep­re­sen­ta­tion of these loca­tions. Intro­duced with local ref­er­ences, the project offers inter­na­tion­al iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and rel­e­vance. Through per­for­mance, Glad­well re-imag­ines the Aus­tralian hin­ter­land, nego­ti­at­ing the con­ven­tions of art his­to­ry and tra­di­tion­al land­scape painting.

This med­i­ta­tive inves­ti­ga­tion artic­u­lates Glad­well’s dis­cur­sive approach to con­tem­po­rary art and struc­tures the project as a free, con­tem­pla­tive space. Road­kill kan­ga­roos are found on the side of high­ways by a black-leather-clad motor­cy­clist and giv­en a rit­u­al­is­tic bur­ial; a fig­ure surfs a vehi­cle as it moves through desert roads; a masked indi­vid­ual rapid­ly paints and sub­se­quent­ly eras­es images of the/​a uni­verse in open arid set­tings; and a group of fig­ures spin against nat­ur­al rock formations.

With over one hun­dred colour plates and two in-depth texts – by Car­olyn Chris­tov-Bakargiev and Dr Blair French – MAD­DEST­MAX­IMVS: PLAN­ET & STARS SEQUENCE is the first com­pre­hen­sive pub­li­ca­tion of Shaun Gladwell’s mul­ti-dimen­sion­al practice.