Open House Melbourne delves into the Australian Ugliness this July

OHM Eugenia Lim, The Australian UglinessOpen House Melbourne will present its biggest July program ever, including major new exhibition The Australian Ugliness – a three-channel video installation by Australian artist Eugenia Lim. This will be joined by Modernism at the Movies film screenings at ACMI – including Modern Melbourne with Phyllis Murphy and Allan Powell – and the annual Heritage Address by funnyman, Tim Ross.

The Australian Ugliness pays homage to modernist architect Robin Boyd (1919-1971) and his book of the same name. Led by the gold-suited figure of ‘The Ambassador’ (performed by Lim), the artist-filmmaker shape-shifts into a student, tourist, client, property investor and resident across more than 30 sites and spaces around Australia, interrogating the diversity, liveability and the sustainability of ‘The Australian Dream’.

The video work brings forward a female, performative, and Asian-Australian perspective to The Dulux Gallery, Melbourne School of Design at The University of Melbourne from Monday 23 July until Saturday 25 August 2018.

Working with WOWOWA principal Andre Bonnice, Eugenia will pay homage to one of Boyd’s last projects, Neptune’s Fishbowl (1970) – a utopian geodesic structure that is now considered to be simultaneously ambitious, democratic and optimistic. The exhibition is free alongside related talks, walks and special events.

Also as part of the Open House Melbourne July Program, renowned Australian comedian Tim Ross will deliver the 2018 Heritage Council of Victoria’s Annual Heritage Address, posing the question, “Why does Modernism matter? on Tuesday 17 July at Deakin Edge, Federation Square. Registrations for this event are essential.

The Heritage Council of Victoria is delighted to be partnering with Ross, who is well known for his advocacy of Modernism through his social media presence, documentaries such as Streets of Your Town, and stand-up shows.

Expect a dose of passion, some laughs and plenty of insight as Ross explores the threats to these buildings, how we can recognise their value before they are lost, and how the general public’s appreciation can grow for this overlooked period of Australia’s architectural history.

ACMI has partnered with Open House Melbourne to present Modernism at the Movies: a celebration of mid-century modern architecture featuring three critically-acclaimed movies: Columbus (2017); Eero Saarinen: The Architect who saw the Future (2016); and Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman (2009) – each dedicated to Modernism.

Once again Open House Melbourne has partnered with ARBV to bring together their annual speaker series, Design City: Built Melbourne! The series – consisting of 15-minute talks by each presenter – is an opportunity for the public to hear from top Melbourne architects and built-environment professionals about the unique challenges of building better cities, and their favourite Melbourne buildings.

This year’s speakers include: Peter Elliot – Peter Elliot Architects, Claire Martin – Oculus, Phil Gardiner – Irwin Consult, Meaghan Dwyer – John Wardle Architects, and Aaron Roberts + Kim Bridgland – Edition Office.

For more information and full program of events, visit: for details.

Image: Eugenia Lim, The Australian Ugliness, 2017 (production still)