UGLY-BEAUTIFUL: AESTHETICS AND ICONS IN AUSTRALIAN ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The Australian Ugliness is one of the most important texts on the Australian city. A book that has infuenced the professions understanding of architecture and planning. With a preoccupation with questions of taste and aesthetics in suburbia, Boyd’s seminal text failed to address the fundamental urban issues facing the modern city. The progressive development of Australian cities peak at the 56 Olympics, with the city as a civilising ‘project’ abandoned by our cultural elite. Economically and Intellectually the Australian ‘project’ became suburban and the detached house. The Australian ugliness was published in 1960 and is a record of this shift of focus. A man of his time, did Boyd’s nostalgia for a particular European history and love of formal modernity blind him to the vibrant urban fabric that was already in place? A talk that will examine the Australian cities changing understanding of beauty and ugliness though the evolution of 200 years of architecture. Hosted in partnership with Rothelowman.
Speakers: Andre Bonnice (WOWOWA), Eugenia Lim (artist)
Chair: Jonothan Cowle (Rothelowman)
23 AUGUST 2018 6.30-8PM
290 WALSH ST, SOUTH YARRA
$20 full / $15 concession / $10 Friends member; registrations essential
Book tickets here
THE AUSTRALIAN UGLINESS
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 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.
Eugenia Lim is an Australian artist who works across video, performance and installation. Interested in how nationalism and stereotypes are formed, Lim invents personas to explore the tensions of an individual within society — the alienation and belonging in a globalised world.
To see the full program, visit Open House Melbourne’s website.
The Australian Ugliness collaborators:
Eugenia Lim – writer, director, performer, editor
Alexandra George – producer
Virginia Kay and Jamie Houge – executive producers
Tim Hillier – cinematographer
Dan West – composition and sound design
WOWOWA with Robin Boyd – installation design
The Post Lounge – Kurt Royan (General Manager), Ela Furdas (Post Producer), Kali Bateman (Colourist), Alan Bennett (Online Editor)
Amos Gebhardt – mentor
Nat Cursio – choreography
Kat Chan – costume design and art department
Julia Spizzica – wardrobe assistant
Shylo Tui – lighting consultant (Walsh Street)
Tom Ross – stills photographer
Eleanor Orchard, Alice Cummins, James Andrews, Gregory Lorenzutti, Alice Dixon – costumed figures
Dan West, Jessie Finch, Emma McRae, Georgia Nowak, James Stephens, Louise Terry, Rachel Ferry, Simon Winkler, Belle Bassin, Sophia Cameron, Bridie Wilkinson – Walsh St partygoers
Miau Teng Tan, Daria Tolotchkov, Aryan Azizkhani, Rifat Muharram, Phoebe Kramer, Alex Jeanne Macdonald, Tamara Baksheev, Matthew Li – MADA Wearing the City designers
Tony Isaacson – project manager
Peter Felicetti – structural engineer
Lapel Industries – construction
Paul Christian, Emeile Dawkins and Johnson Fang – installation
3D Inflate – inflatable
Mitra Farjpoor – curtain maker
Jacqueline Miller and Grace Carver – studio assistants
Warren Davey – signwriter
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
Australian Culture Fund
Gertrude Contemporary studio program
The Robin Boyd Foundation
The Post Lounge
Photo Credit: Eugenia Lim, The Australian Ugliness (2018) production still by Tom Ross