The Meaning of Moorabbin is Open for Inspection - screener

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The Meaning of Moorabbin is Open for Inspection

by David Pledger

Year: 2008, 136 mins
Code: NY-Meaning
ISBN: 978-1-922007-17-9

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Using photography, film, video and design, The Meaning of Moorabbin is Open For Inspection is a site-specific installation work that plays with Australian notions of family and suburbia. Staged as an open inspection, the work is introduced by a ‘real estate agent’ who invites visitors to view the property. Ambient set pieces are the idiosyncratic features made to attract prospective buyers. Ruminations about the suburbs and the suburban house are evoked as visitors move through the property. In the final room, a camera is set up and the visitor is invited to comment on the meanings the property has evoked for them. These to-camera confessions are then uploaded on to the project’s website. The work culminates in an auction of sorts. What is on sale is not the building itself but what it houses - the memories of lives lived, the past and possible futures, the meanings of the suburbs, all accrued during the making and viewing of the work.

In the world of The Meaning of Moorabbin is Open For Inspection, the suburban house is a metaphor for the Australian imaginary, its psychological texture imbued with the netherworld of the desert, the ephemeral space of suburban creep and the liminal nature of coastal living. This view of Australian suburbia resonates throughout the work, that of a mediated otherworld between the edge and the interior, a no-man’s land in which representation never reflects reality, where past and present co-exist and the future is a wrecking ball.

Melbourne International Arts Festival 2008
This DVD includes a video navigation through the installation with commentary by artist David Pledger, and a selection of the individual films that can viewed separately.

NYID Entry Working under the artistic direction of David Pledger, not yet it's difficult (NYID) is one of Australia's leading independent arts companies recognised as as a pioneer in the development of contemporary theatre, art form hybridisation, creative utilisation of new media, cross-cultural dialogue and new models of international collaboration.

Over the long term, the company has developed seminal dramaturgical strategies for applying a unique methodological approach to the research, development and making of physical performance. From the mid-1990s, the company led the way in the integration of media in live performance and, in its most recent phase, it has created screen-based visual art projects in which a performative element is integrated into the artwork through lo and hi-tech, and interactive modes of presentation. These development streams are not mutually exclusive. They flow in parallel and often intersect causing change and evolution, developing an oeuvre that is distinctive, innovative and adventurous. This dedicated approach has placed NYID at the forefront of experimental companies in the independent international arts scene.

In Australia, NYID have led the challenge to mainstream representations of culture in society and forged Asian-Australian engagements where they have originated workable systems for complex international artistic collaborations. The consistent and profound engagement with Asia features projects of exchange, collaboration and co-production in Korea, China, Japan and Malaysia. The company has also developed and/or presented work in Germany, Austria, Denmark, Slovenia, Hawaii, Brazil, England and Ireland.

Founded in 1995 by Pledger, Peter Eckersall and Paul Jackson, NYID have produced almost 50 local, national and international projects including original performance works, plays, public space projects, workshop and research programs, interactive cinema, television and site-specific screen-based installations.


“…audio-visual experiences that are intimate, confronting or wickedly amusing”  The Age

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