It was a strangely wonderful experience. Some of the parent Baotou Map birds were brave enough to ignore me and return to their nests. Others began to get Baotou Map upset; they wheeled in circles, rending the air with screeching, cawing and honking noises’. A little further along the lakeshore there were cliffs where black cormorants nested. To the Chinese the cormorant symbolises unique ability: to fly, swim, dive and swim underwater. It would be fun to be that adaptable.
The Vacant Hotel
In her recent survey of Callum Morton’s career, Call Me Mr. In-Between, Linda Michael suggests that his highly ambivalent objects . animate the tensions between art and life, history and the present, and make us look again at the ubiquitous structures we see but rarely notice’ (2011: 3). Situated in an unlikely context and exhibiting a slightly altered and unfamiliar architectural quality, Hotel (see Figures 1 and 2), represents a particularly good example of Morton’s ambivalence. His site-orientated or, arguably, context-specific public artwork invites motorists to gaze upon its deliberately-odd scale, and its slightly unconvincing prefabricated quality, as Michael notes:
Fakery, mimicry and automation are used to comic effect, deflecting our anxiety about the life they hint at behind his walls and surfaces. Through his mastery of inference and implication, dumb staring turns into imagining and wondering. Everything is not alright in Morton’s world, our world, and the viewer is asked to take the uncertainty on.