Double War: Shaun Gladwell

Dr Kit Messham-Muir's Double War: Shaun Gladwell, visual culture and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (Thames & Hudson 2015) is the first published sustained critical investigation into the artwork of Shaun Gladwell, one of Australia's leading contemporary artists.

Double War by Kit Messham-MuirAn art theorist and Museologist, Messham-Muir's research focuses on the psychological and emotional dimensions of visualising war. He is also a member of Newcastle's Centre for the History of Violence

Messham-Muir was given privileged access to Gladwell's studio throughout the development of Gladwell's work. Double War's six chapters explore Gladwell's war artist works, as well as the broader political and cultural contexts of the War on Terror.

Gladwell is known for his video installation works, has represented Australia at the 2009 Venice Biennale and was appointed as an Australian Official War Artist in late 2009. He spent a month in Afghanistan and the Middle East with the Australian Defence Force, and drew upon this experience to produce a large body of paintings, video and photographic works.

Kit Messham-Muir's collaboration with artist, Shaun Gladwell, has produced one of the most significant and original interpretations of the space and time of war. With Gladwell's lens focused on the war in Afghanistan, and in particular the Australian troops deployed there, the book manages to capture the war as lived experience in all its moments of crisis as well as its most routine aspects. Messham-Muir and Gladwell must also be congratulated for illustrating the profound sense in which a collaboration between art practice and the study of war can produce an invaluable source for research and teaching.

- Vivienne Jabri, Professor of International Politics, Department of War Studies, King's College London.


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