This interview was taken during the exhibition of Valhalla, a work by renown Australian artist Callum Morton. Valhalla which was originally commissioned as part of the Australian presentation at the 2007 Venice Biennale, made its Australian debut as part of Melbourne International Arts Festival in 2009.
The story of Valhalla’s begins 35 years ago as Morton’s childhood home in Melbourne. Originally designed by his architect father, the house pays homage to Modernist architectural aesthetics, and was briefly inhabited by his family before being unceremoniously sold and more recently demolished.
Rebuilt by Morton to three-quarter scale, Valhalla now reappears as a smoking ruin, which rises from the dead as a haunting image of his past. In contrast to the ruined domestic exterior, visitors to the work's interior space enter a pristine corporate-style foyer, which emanates haunting sound-effects mixed with a soundtrack of muzak. By weaving the real, fantastical, and combining public and private spaces, Morton creates a complex interplay of narratives, drawing on Hollywood catastrophe movies, recent world events and his own biography.