The Australian Ugliness pays homage to modernist architect Robin Boyd (1919–1971) and his book of the same name, while exploring the ethics and aesthetics of our nation today. The three-channel video installation by Australian Artist Eugenia Lim and presented by Open House and Melbourne School of Design brings forward a female, performative and Asian-Australian perspective to the screens and spaces of Australia. With visual poetry, pathos and wit, this is Australia rendered both familiar and strange, a country at once confident and ever-anxious.
Led by the gold-suited figure of The Ambassador (performed by Lim), the artist-filmmaker shape-shifts as student, tourist, client, property investor and resident across more than 30 sites and spaces across Australia, interrogating the diversity, liveability and the sustainability of “the Australian Dream”.
Working with WOWOWA, Eugenia will pay homage to one of Boyd’s last projects, Neptune’s Fishbowl (1970). With its unorthodox construction methods and utopian geodesic structure, Neptune’s Fishbowl is simultaneously ambitious, democratic and optimistic.
The Australian Ugliness is a keynote of this year’s Open House Melbourne July program and will be installed in the Melbourne School of Design alongside a free month-long program of related talks, walks and special events.
There is currently a crowdfunding campaign running through the Australian Cultural Fund here. To show your support, please contribute to the initiative, and/or share with your friends on social media!
The project is made possible through the generous support of the following partners:
Open House Melbourne
Melbourne School of Design
Australia Council for the Arts
City of Melbourne
The Robin Boyd Foundation
The Post Lounge