Cool hunter predictions: Baden Pailthorpe - Art Collector

Issue 63, January - March 2013

This profile appeared in the Cool hunter predictions feature, part of the annual special issue 50 Things Collectors Need to Know 2013.

Baden Pailthorpe, Airquake, landscape (Libya), 2012. Installation view, Artspace Sydney. HD video, 16:9, colour, sound, mirrors, edition of 5, 4 min 21 sec. Sound mastered by Jack Prest. Courtesy: the artist and Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney

Baden Pailthorpe is a young media artist whose video works and photographs deal with military technology, atmosphere and the aesthetics of politics. Conceptually and technically skilful and beautifully absorbing, these videos are loaded political commentaries on Western military aggression, the ethical implications of technology and the huge effect that military media advancements have had on wider culture. “As a media artist, I know that the incubator of technology is the military,” he says.

Pailthrope is a wunderkind. At 27-years-old, he is in the midst of completing his PhD at the University of New South Wales with an Australian Postgraduate Awards grant, plus an award for research excellence and a top-up award allocated to the best 2012 student. In 2012 he was represented in 12 national and international exhibitions, three of which were solo shows, and Sydney dealer Martin Browne invited him to become a stable artist. Pailthrope also received a 2012 New Work grant from the Australia Council and was invited to have a solo show at the prestigious Palais de Tokyo as part of Rencontres Internationales last December.

This year is shaping up to be just as action-packed. In June he will take up a residency in Paris, through UNSW, as a visiting scholar. During this time, the French-speaking Pailthorpe will complete fieldwork at Ypres, where his favourite theoretician Peter Sloterdijk charted the beginning of modernity via the military terror operations begun in World War I.

Prue Gibson

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