Shaun Gladwell: Perpetual 360° Sessions
Schunck*, Heerlen 2011
22 x 28 cm
Gladwell’s multidisciplinary oeuvre, which he produced during the first decade of the twenty-first century, includes video, installations, performance, painting, drawing and sculpture. On first sight, many of his works seem to have clear, formal and conceptual interfaces with such typical phenomena of urban culture as skateboarding, BMX, breakdancing and graffiti, but a deeper analysis reveals all kinds of other dimensions, such as the dialogue between the various art-historical traditions and the special, situationist fascination for the dynamic relationship between people and public spaces. Gladwell’s greatest strength perhaps lies in his non-hierarchical way of blending different dimensions in his work, offering the viewer starting points for new insights, for renewed acquaintance with the world we thought we knew so well. The thread of the exhibition Perpetual 360° Sessions is formed by a number of works revolving around the artistic representation of a single fascination: for spinning – the rotation around one’s own axis, which plays such an important part in so many different forms of movement, such as capoeira, pole dancing and breakdancing, but also in less obvious examples, like the surprising video of two ISAF soldiers in Afghanistan entangled with each other and their cameras in a bizarre choreography. In these works Gladwell blurs our perception of boundaries between dance and sport, between seriousness and fun, between art and reality, between routine and ritual, subtly rendering a timeless, universal human obsession perceptible. Under the influence of all this expressive generosity, the viewer will at least be able to see reality through different eyes.