The Meaning of Moorabbin is Open for Inspection
site-specific, multi-modal installation
Project Description

The Meaning of Moorabbin is Open For Inspection is a site-specific installation that plays with Australian notions of family and suburbia.

Presented in Moorabbin, the iconic suburb of the local government area in which David Pledger grew up, this work is at once personal, social and political. 

Staged as an open inspection, a ‘real estate agent’ invites visitors to view the property. Ambient set pieces in each room are presented as attractive ‘features’ for prospective buyers. Ruminations about the suburbs and the suburban house are evoked as visitors move through the property. In the laundry, a camera is set up and the visitor is invited to comment on the meanings the property has evoked for them, confessions which are uploaded 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.

Using the dramaturgical template developed for The Meaning of Moorabbin is Open for Inspection, a series of development projects were undertaken with Instant Cafe Theatre and associated Malaysian artists addressing themes of landscape, suburbia, memory, popular culture and local history within Malaysian culture. These projects took place in Kuala Lumpur in 2009 and 2011.

Project Credits
Concept / Creation / Design

David Pledger  

Project Coordinator

Lydia Teychenne     


Lawrence Harvey


Niklas Pajanti

Director Of Photography / Photography

Michael Williams

Website Design / Online Video

Alex Gibson

Jarrod Factor


One Bray Court

Why Scott Robinson Never Left Erinsborough

Twin Drive-In


Principal Photography

Michael Williams

Additional Photography

Paul Jackson

Bill Bachman

David Pledger


Mark Atkin                    

Greg Ferris

Peter Worland


Tony Briggs

Daniela Farinacci

Tamara Saulwick

Todd MacDonald

Roslyn Oades

Shahin Shafaei

Yumi Umiumare


Judith Stellato-Pledger

Project Management

Paul Jackson

Lydia Teychenne     


Aretha Briggs (Yorta Yorta)                              

Daniela Farinacci (Italian)                        

Shahin Shafaei (Farsi)                 

Yumi Umiumare (Japanese

Malaysia Collaborators

Jo Kukathas

Rahel Joseph

Instant Cafe Theatre Artistic Associates

Commissioned by:

Melbourne International Festival of Arts, funded by Arts Victoria.


Funded by Australia-Malaysia Institute, House for Art and Ideas, Instant Café Theatre

Produced by Instant Café Theatre and NYID