2008 Melbourne International Festival of the Arts
For an online experience and information on how to get there, go to www.themeaningofmoorabbin.com.au
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.
David Pledger works across media in theatre, dance, opera, television and media arts. His work has been presented and exhibited in Australia, Asia and Europe. He is the founder of the award-winning artists’ group Not Yet It's Difficult.