Cal­lum Morton
Mini Mon­u­ments

15th February – 18th March 2006
Anna Schwartz Gallery

Cal­lum Mor­ton is prob­a­bly best known for his scaled-down mod­el of Farnsworth House, designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1945, a build­ing described by the crit­ics in terms of float­ing pla­nar forms but by the woman for whom it was built, Edith Farnsworth, as a glass cage for a prowl­ing animal’.1

Archi­tec­ture is often sep­a­rat­ed from its real his­to­ry, from the human cir­cum­stances that lie behind the pro­duc­tion of such icon­ic forms. Mor­ton began his career in archi­tec­ture, which he stud­ied at RMIT in the ear­ly 1980’s, but his archi­tec­tur­al mod­els quick­ly reveal them­selves as the stage-sets for his tiny, con­struct­ed his­tor­i­cal dra­mas. Frag­ments of con­ver­sa­tion, music, the sounds of tiny tele­vi­sions, lights, signs of move­ment emanate from with­in his built forms.

When you first encounter it, you are struck by its phys­i­cal form — its pure, sculp­tur­al qual­i­ties and beau­ti­ful con­struc­tion. Beyond this you find your­self hooked into the weird, tin­ny, pint-sized dra­ma, writes Gina McColl of Baby­lo­nia in 20052

Although the con­flicts with­in these mod­els are dis­tilled from real events, they clear­ly belong to all our lives. And it’s no sur­prise either,’ writes Stu­art Koop of More Talk about Build­ings and Mood, that out­rage and bit­ter­ness, dis­ap­point­ment and intol­er­ance, ill­ness and sad­ness, the whole gamut of mot­ley abject emo­tions arise from with­in archi­tec­ture and typ­i­cal­ly in the act of habi­ta­tion.’ 3

One of the com­mon threads of my work [is] that you’re always look­ing at the sur­face of it, you [can] nev­er pen­e­trate it. That notion of stand­ing at the thresh­old of a door that you can’t cross — that is a total­ly psy­cho­log­i­cal space, that’s about fam­i­ly, thwart­ed desire, all those kinds of things,’ says Mor­ton. 4

1. Koop, S. The Sto­ry of Archi­tec­ture’ in Cal­lum Mor­ton: More talk about build­ings and mood, MCA, Syd­ney, 2005, p6.
2. McColl, G. Into the Island’, Sun­day Age Pre­view, 9÷0÷05, pp 10 – 11.
3. Koop, S. ibid.
4. McColl, G. ibid.

Images

Cal­lum Morton

Mon­u­ment #1 — Screen, 2006
wood and acrylic paint
9311045.3 cm

Cal­lum Morton

Mon­u­ment #2 — Carpark, 2006
Wood and acrylic paint
76.8115.684 cm; 2 tables: 7518090 cm each

Cal­lum Morton

Mon­u­ment #3 — Crater, 2006
Wood, poly­styrene, resin, acrylic paint, plas­tic, oil and sound
835552 cm Table size 8390180 cm

Cal­lum Morton

Mon­u­ment #4 — Pylon, 2006
Pow­der coat­ed steel
784156 cm

Cal­lum Morton

Mon­u­ment #5 — Dead End, 2006
Wood and acrylic paint
9311045.5 cm; table 7590180 cm

Cal­lum Morton

Mon­u­ment #6 — House, 2006
Wood, acrylic and enam­el paint and perspex
23.86367.5 cm; table: 7590180 cm

Cal­lum Morton

Mon­u­ment #7 — Crate, 2006
wool and enam­el paint
1533.519.5 cm

Cal­lum Morton

Mon­u­ment #8 — Pile, 2006
wood, poly­styrene, acrylic paint and sound
90.390180 cm (includ­ing table)

Cal­lum Morton

Safe #1, 2006
Wood, steel and acrylic paint
69.730.726.6 cm

Cal­lum Morton

Safe #3, 2006
Wool, ure­ol and acrylic paint
723538 cm