Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery is pleased to present a major solo exhibition by Callum Morton. ‘The Insides’ begins outside with an immigration shop-front awning and a wall that obstructs entry to the gallery. The affronting water-stained barrier also acts a concealed entrance – a corridor that leads, inevitably, to an interior.
Inside, a reconstructed Modernist fireplace rumbles hungrily. One to one is a replica of the1960s fireplace designed for John and Sunday Reed’s Modernist home at Heide in Melbourne. If a hearth is a home’s heart, the core of this interior has been plucked out and re-located. Decontextualized, the structure's abstract lines and volumes visually dominant and the connotations of warmth and conversation traditionally associated with a fireplace seem faint and distant. Instead the large slabs of stone evoke a memorial-like structure such as a tomb or sarcophagus. Emerging from the guts of the hearth are gurgling sounds reminiscent of digestion. These internal noises enliven the ghostly structure, while also echoing its original function of consumption.
Opposite the fireplace, on the reverse of Morton’s entry wall, geometric blocks of colour describe another interior – the theatre. In the tradition of Le Corbusier’s internal murals, Morton has painted the proscenium of an early experimental theatre set. Fittingly, the raison d'être of theatre design is the mimicry of interiors, a kind of mise-en-scène in Morton’s investigation of the insides.
Two other objects inhabit Morton’s interior – a shrouded de Kooning-scaled painting and a cloaked Eames chair. These sculptures are replicas of camouflaged objects that have been created using CNC technology. They speak of absence or abandonment, of vacated interiors, or simply unfashionable items collecting dust in a museum’s storehouse. Yet the act of concealment makes them exciting. These objects are energised by what is invisible, by the idea of hidden content. Together, Morton’s sculptures provide an eerie sense of secret lives of things.
Callum Morton is one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists. He represented Australia at the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007) with the monumental outdoor sculpture, Valhalla. Morton was selected for the Scape Biennial (Christchurch) in 2008, the Busan Biennale in 2006 and the Indian Triennial in 2004. Other important group shows include: Forever Young: 30 Years of the Heide Collection, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne; Adelaide Biennale, Before and After Science, curated by Charlotte Day and Sarah Tutton, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; The Dwelling, ACCA, Melbourne; Lost and Found: An Archeology of the Present, TarraWarra Biennial, Melbourne; DeOverkant/Downunder, Den Haag Sculpture 2007, Netherlands; High Tide: Currents in Contemporary Australian Art, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw and the Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius (2006); the 2nd Istanbul Pedestrians Exhibition (2005); the 2nd Auckland Triennial (2004); Face Up: Contemporary Art from Australia, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2003). Solo museum exhibitions include Babylonia at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2005), More Talk about Buildings and Mood at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2003) and International Style at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Los Angeles (1999). In 2008. Morton completed a major commission, Hotel, 2008 for the Eastlink freeway (Nunawading to Frankston, Melbourne). The following year Morton completed Grotto, an important commission for the Fundament Foundation, Netherlands. He has been exhibiting with Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery since 1998.