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Shaun Gladwell

Storm Sequence  2000

single-channel digital video, colour, sound, 7min 59s

7 min 59s

Commissioned by Peter Fay.
Museum of Contemporary Art, donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Andrew and Cathy Cameron, 2011

2011.11

About the Artwork

The artist Shaun Gladwell often portrays isolated figures, undertaking choreographed acts like skateboarding or breakdancing. Located within urban and natural symbolically significant sites, his work articulates a relationship between the performer’s body and its immediate environment through slowed motion, often redefining the prescribed function of objects and spaces.

Storm Sequence is Gladwell’s seminal work and depicts him skateboarding on the edge of a concrete drop at Sydney’s Bondi Beach. Gladwell – a prolific and skilful free-style skateboarder – pirouettes and spins within a contained space. Incorporating an organic, liquid-like soundtrack by Sydney composer Kazumuchi Grime, the footage is slowed down and movement, which in real time would have a jerky rhythm, becomes graceful, emphasising the relationship between the skater and the environment. As a storm approaches on the horizon, Gladwell continues to skate as the sky turns black until eventually the rain becomes too heavy for him to continue.

Storm Sequence is a deceptively simple work – it depicts a solitary action in an unadorned space. The camera hardly moves and concentrates only on the artist’s movements. The strange, poetic intervention of the natural world, combined with the well-known nature of the place where it is performed, creates a compelling and mesmeric work. The importance of Storm Sequence lies in the pivotal role it has played in the reception, exhibition and acceptance of moving image as an art form in this country. This work is an important cornerstone in the MCA’s Collection.

Shaun Gladwell

– About the artist

b.1972

Learn more
– Other works by the artist

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