Cal­lum Morton
Evac­u­a­tions

30th August – 20th October 2012
Anna Schwartz Gallery

Cal­lum Mor­ton’s work has often recalled spe­cif­ic his­to­ries, both per­son­al and col­lec­tive. For the Venice Bien­nale in 2007 Mor­ton con­struct­ed Val­hal­la, a scaled-down ver­sion of the fam­i­ly home designed by his father; Gas and Fuel, 2002, sim­i­lar­ly minia­turised and ani­mat­ed those twin Mel­bourne city build­ings which first her­ald­ed then hin­dered notions of urban progress; his ongo­ing series of Tomor­row Land and Local +/- Gen­er­al prints graft con­tem­po­rary retail and enter­tain­ment brands onto the pro­tect­ed icons of Mod­ernist architecture.

In Evac­u­a­tions’, Mor­ton looks to a more recent and site-spe­cif­ic his­to­ry: that of the gallery space in which these new works are pre­sent­ed. Five of these six sculp­tures are mod­elled after a recent exhi­bi­tion of paint­ings he saw in the gallery. The visu­al and per­son­al con­tent of those paint­ings has, how­ev­er, been removed from the equa­tion. Rep­re­sen­ta­tion, image and detail have been evac­u­at­ed. Re-pre­sent­ing the pre­vi­ous exhi­bi­tion as cov­ered’ can­vas­es, Mor­ton instead ges­tures toward a larg­er nar­ra­tive than those depict­ed on dis­crete canvases.

Built from foam, resin, lac­quer, paint and wood, the works in Evac­u­a­tions are not paint­ings, nor are they cast sculp­tures of paint­ings. They are paint­ed sculp­tures of cov­ered paint­ings, con­struct­ed in turn by Com­put­er Numer­i­cal­ly Con­trolled router and by hand, lay­er by lay­er. Sim­i­lar­ly to the paint­ings they have usurped, the Cov­er Up works are formed through a dense lay­er­ing of mate­ri­als, applied and cut repeat­ed­ly until the desired like­ness appears.

Refer­ring to the gallery as a site with a diverse and sequen­tial sto­ry, Mor­ton also sug­gests the pos­si­bil­i­ty of the gallery as a series of rooms — dif­fer­ent spaces in time, piled atop one anoth­er and, here, col­lapsed into one. Also present are more dis­tant rel­a­tives from art’s his­to­ry: Magrit­te’s paint­ings of fab­ric-cov­ered heads, Ducham­p’s unnamed object hid­den inside a ball of string, Mel Rams­den’s Secret Paint­ings and Chris­to’s wrapped objects. The attempt at com­plete evac­u­a­tion has failed, as his­to­ry and fic­tion remain.

Images

Cal­lum Morton

Cov­er Up #4, 2012
wood, polyurethane, resin, syn­thet­ic poly­mer paint
1911106.5 cm

Cal­lum Morton

Cov­er Up #5, 2012
wood, polyurethane, resin, syn­thet­ic poly­mer paint
171837 cm

Cal­lum Morton

Cov­er Up #6, 2012
wood, polyurethane, resin, syn­thet­ic poly­mer paint
218966.5 cm

Cal­lum Morton

Cov­er Up #6, 2012
Wood, polyurethane, resin, syn­thet­ic poly­mer paint
19095.56.5 cm

Cal­lum Morton

Cov­er Up #8, 2012
Wood, polyurethane, resin, syn­thet­ic poly­mer paint
187957 cm

Cal­lum Morton

Cov­er Up #9, 2013
Ure­ol, syn­thet­ic poly­mer paint
301310 cm