Documenting and preserving the stories and the images of the people and places of Melbourne's West since 1984



Visitor Centre
Pipemakers Park, Van Ness Avenue,
Maribyrnong. Melway Map 28 B10

contact + opening hours



what's on / news

Museum News January / February 2021

- museum re-opens

- new and extended opening hours 2021

- welcome to Rosemary Forde

Dear Members, Friends and Stakeholders, 

It is with great pleasure the Committee of Management welcomes Rosemary Forde in the new role of Business Manager at Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West.  Rosemary is a curator, educator and arts administrator with a wealth of experience working both independently and in museums and the artist-run sector in Melbourne and New Zealand. Rosemary shares the Living Museum’s belief in the value of art as a critical tool for local histories and community building.  We look forward to working with her! 

Establishing the part-time position of Business Manager has been possible thanks to recently announced Triennial Funding from the City of Maribyrnong, and will help secure the Living Museum’s future and expand its capacity for programming and public access to the archive.

After a challenging year for all in 2020, we look forward to welcoming you back to the visitor centre soon!

The Living Museum re-opens from February 4, 2021 with new expanded public hours:

Thursdays 11am – 4pm

Fridays 11am – 4pm

Saturdays 1pm – 4pm

The museum is following all COVID-19 safety guidelines and has processes in place to keep visitors and volunteers safe. Enquiries and appointments are also welcome.

We have exciting artistic programs to look forward to this year, including upcoming exhibitions by LMW artist-in-residence Nic Burridge as part of Melbourne Design Week (26 March – 5 April); The image is not nothing (Concrete Archives) curated by Lisa Radford & Yhonnie Scarce (13 May – 26 June); our ongoing River and Streams series of artist talks developed by Matthew Davis; a curatorial project with West Space; the launch of our new open studio program Canteen, and many more projects to be announced!

Thank you, as always, for your continued support of the Living Museum. 



Museum News October / November 2020
Triennial Funding

The Living Museum has successfully secured Triennial Funding from the City of Maribyrnong to support its programs and operations during 2020 - 2023. 

The additional funding will enable the Museum to employ a part-time business manager to support the work of the Committee to deliver the Museum’s Strategic Plan and 3 Year Program. With the lifting of Covid restrictions we are hoping that the Museum’s doors will open once again in early December. We will keep you posted.  

In the meantime, this year our AGM will be held remotely, via zoom, on November 19th details are below.

Business Manager postion vacant

The Business Manager is a new part-time position and the Living Museum’s only paid position. The position is part of a 3 year strategy to support the volunteer management committee who currently run the Museum. The Business Manager will support the implementation of the 2020 – 2023 Strategic Plan.

Details about this position and how to apply can be found here.


AGM 19 November 2020

The Living Museum 2020 AGM will be held remotely via Zoom video link on Thursday November 19th at 7.30 pm. If you are interested in attending please contact us directly in advance so we can email you a meeting link and password. events@livingmuseum.org.au

Current Museum members can renew their membership subscription via email, new members can download a membership form here which must be signed and dated and returned via post or email to:

PO Box 60 Highpoint City, VIC, 3032

Download Living Museum membership form here:

Annual Report 2019 -2020 / Strategic Plan 2020 -2023

The Museum's 2019-20 Annual Report and Strategic Plan 2020 -2023 documents are now available upon request.




Museum News, July - August 2020

Presenting new videos:

'Flowerlands' and 'Arts Programs and Residencies'

Presenting two new videos !!!

 ‘Supported by the City of Melbourne COVID-19 Arts Grants’.


The Museum is proud to present two new videos, 'Flowerlands' and 'Art Programs and Residencies' produced during Covid 19 restrictions. These videos present some of our archival materials and will be used to introduce a series of webinars held over the coming months. Stay tuned for updates.

Find out more and register for free webinar events here.

This grant has also enabled the broader Museum team to continue to be available to answer research enquiries from artists and the general public, which would usually occur face to face at the Museum Visitor Centre, on Tuesday’s, by zoom or by phone.

Please feel free to contact the Museum on admin@livingmuseum.org.au to make an appointment for a consultation on any Tuesday between 11 am and 3 pm.



Flowerlands, 2020


Art Programs and Residencies, 2020




 ‘Supported by the City of Melbourne COVID-19 Arts Grants’.







Museum News, June 2020

The Living Museum received an arts grant from City of Mellbourne to produce online content and to help us continue to provide research assistance services during the COVID 19 restrictions.

The Museum is currently busy producing a series of short videos presenting some of our archival materials. These videos will be used to introduce a series of ‘webinars’ which will be held over the coming months.

This grant has also enabled the broader Museum team to continue to be available to answer research enquiries from artists and the general public, which would usually occur face to face at the Museum Visitor Centre, on Tuesday’s, by zoom or by phone.

Please feel free to contact the Museum on admin@livingmuseum.org.au to make an appointment for a consultation on any Tuesday between 11 am and 3 pm.

 ‘Supported by the City of Melbourne COVID-19 Arts Grants’.



march 2020

Due to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic the Visitor Centre of Melbourne's Living Museum of the West is closed to the public for the foreseeable future.

Please stay tuned to this space for updates on Museum projects. To reach out to our volunteer base email admin@livingmuseum.org.au or find us on Instagram @livingmuseumwest for updates.

Stay safe everyone!'


summer 2019-20


Events & Exhibitions

The Living Museum continues to operate a Visitor Centre in Pipemakers Park. The Pipemakers Park Visitor Centre and the Living Museum of the West is currently run and managed by the Museum's volunteer Committee of Management.

The Centre is currently open to the public every Tuesday, or by appointment on weekdays pending volunteer availabilty.

Stay tuned to our facebook page for up to date details of Events and Exhibitions

facebook link


Previous Exhibitions and events

March 2019

December 2018

The Living Museum's latest exhibition: Great Western - is a collaboration between the museum and recent graduates from the Drawing and Printmaking Department at the Victorian College of the Arts.

Featuring artists Daniel Kotsimbos, Kathleen Hicks, Chas Manning, Tamara Marrington, Brahmony Mccrossin and Lucy Wilson, each of whom have explored the rich collection of the Living Museum of the West to draw forth relationships between peripheral archival material and contemporary art practice. The artists utilise the context of site, specifically the museum’s Visitor Centre as the axis for investigation and exchange thereby bypassing the formalities of exhibition conventions to convey a social engagement with a disparate range of histories and narratives. Each work is located within and amongst the permanent displays of the museum to create conversational platforms that highlight and potentially illuminate the core objectives of the museum’s interest in the region, its people and its immediate environment.

Exhibition dates:
1 December to 16 December 12 – 5 (Saturdays and Sundays only)

Opening celebration: Saturday 1 December 3 - 5



image of bluestone

One of Melbourne's oldest industrial buildings, built in 1865 on the banks of the Maribyrnong River was saved from demolition in the 1980s by the local community, conserved for public events and exhibitions by the Living Museum, Heritage Victoria and Parks Victoria in 2003, it is now managed by the City of Maribyrnong and the Living Museum.

exhibitions + projects in the Bluestone Building

The Living Museum contemporary art exhibition and events program in the historic Bluestone Building has been interrupted throughout 2016, 2017 and 2018 due to planning of conservation works. The Bluestone Building was closed to the public (from January 2016 - July 2017) when structural assessment for repairs commenced by the new managers of Pipemakers Park, The City of Maribyrnong.

Works are now scheduled to be completed by July 2019. In the meantime the Museum is hosting a limited program of contemporary art exhibitions, the outcomes of residencies where artists have worked with the museum's archives to develop new artworks.

Scroll down to see past projects and events and the Museum's artist in resident program...

In the Visitor Centre

Open Tuesdays, 10 to 2 pm.

Admission: Free

Research enquiries, bookshop, talks and other information available on Tuesday's 11-3 pm or by appointment pending volunteer availability.

School excursions are also possible on Tuesday's.

Please call 0419 154 265 for further details.

current exhibitions:

Currently in the Visitor Centre are a selection of displays and extracts from our exhibitions including:

Australia's Arsenal

An exhibition of images, stories, artefacts and photographs from the industrial munitions complex in the western suburbs of Melbourne that supported Australia's military. The largest such complex in the country once included the Explosives Factory Maribyrnong (EFM), Ammunition Factory Footscray and the Ordinance Factory Maribyrnong.


A 10 metre panoramic display about the Animals of the Maribyrnong River Estuary. The Estuary being the part of the river that flows to and from the sea.
Exhibition weblink.

Billie Tea Tales

An interactive animated story screen.

Still Here

A brief history of the Aboriginal People in Melbourne's west. Tells the story of the Aboriginal people in Melbourne's West from pre- eurpoean invasion to today.
A digital version of this exhibition and catalogue is available here: Still Here
Note: This exhibition can be viewed and borrowed on request.

The History of Pipemakers Park...

A display about the history of the site from sheep, tinned meats, to Humes Pipes and a park for the people.


SCREENING in the Visitor Centre on Tuesday's 11- 3 pm, or by appointment:

Puddlehush: Our Stony Creek
- a short film about Stony Creek one of Australia's most challenged little waterways which runs through the back streets of Sunshine and Yarraville and on to a mangrove backwash under the Westgate Bridge.

The Living Museum's exhibitions are available to be borrowed by schools and groups.

Check out the Museum's Youtube channel where new archival footage is uploaded regularly.




Research on Tuesday's

Search the Museum's database - With nearly 5000 items on record including more than 1000 maps, 1700 books, 725 audio recordings, 100 films and more than 600 photographs. The Living Museum has been collecting the stories of the people living and working in Melbourne's west since 1984.

Peruse the Museum's bookshop and library - since 1984 the Living Museum has produced and collected publications and reports about the western region of Melbourne.



archives and digitisation

The Living Museum has collected the stories and photographs of the people of Melbourne's West since 1984, our Committee's main aim is to make this enormous and valuable archive both safe and accessible.

Current LMW digital projects include:
Footscray Warves Precinct webchapter (coming soon)
A major Anzac project, to digitise material from the collection about the local munitions industries
Oral history collection digitisation
Developing an online archival database

Ecomuseums Studies Resource
The Living Museum has recently begun to construct a new section of our digital library and publications section as an ecomuseum studies resource: ecomuseum studies

We have begun by publishing an article and books about the history of the Living Museum that describe the development of the first ecomuseum in Australia. We will add to this section as we receive permissions to publish further articles.

Two publications are now avaiable for free download in pdf:

Your History Mate, the work of a community museum in Melbourne's Western Suburbs.
By Peter Haffenden, 1994.

Melbourne's Livign Museum of the West, A Museum Without Walls,
By Olwen Ford, 1984.


artist's in residence program


February 2018 - December 2018
Benjamin Woods site
Carly Fischer
Jessye Wdowin-McGrogor

November 2017 - March 2018
Nina Sanadze
Bluestone Building exhibition: Bollard City March 17 - 25, 2018



October 2017- January 2018, Alisha Abate
Exhibition in Bluestone Building as part of midsumma program 2018
A red wine cheers to the Intimacies of Industry, January 27 - February 11, 2018

September - November 2017, VCA 2nd Year painting students
Bluestone Building exhibition: What Are Chives For?

January - November 2017, Curatorial: Matthew Davis and Susan Long
Visitor Centre exhibition: The Archival Reflex

January - June 2017, Mel Deerson and Georgina Criddle.
Bluestone Building residency exhibition, The Year of the Floods



January - August 2017, Ngardarb Riches and Scattered Tribes Network.
Scattered Tribes development project.
Exhibition "Healing Through Kinship" at Footscray Community Art Centre.



May - August 2016, Charlie Sofo.
Visitor Centre residency exhibition, A Gap Opens Up


December 2015 - April 2016, January - August 2017, Ngardarb Riches.
Scattered Tribes development project.




May - July 2015, Eliza Dyball and Ash Kilmartin
Echo, Sunday 5 July, 3-4pm




In Pipemakers Park


Friend's of Pipemakers Park

The Tuesday's gardening team. Come and learn about the park and the native plant species. Lend a hand, pull up some weeds, meet in the History of the Land Gardens every Tuesday and the first Sunday of each month.

The Pioneer Womens Shelter

This small shelter on the banks of the Maribyrnong commemorates six women who started the first hotels, schools and punts across the river last century.

The History of the Land Gardens

This imaginative and much-loved garden, funded and developed through Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West, in consultation with Parks Victoria, will continue to be a valuable resource in telling the story of the river valley and the region and an important component of the total park interpretation program.

The Cycle Saloon

(sponsored and auspiced by the Living Museum)

Learn how to fix your bike, enthusiast and bike mechanic Glen Mason has the tools and expertise on hand, next to the bike path.
Check out Glen's wordpress site for details and updates.





Lighting up the bluestone wall, in preparation for the twelth (2017) annual winter solstice lantern walk.







contemporay art exhibitions
/ projects

The Living Museum contemporary art exhibition and events program in the historic Bluestone Building has been interrupted throughout 2016 and 2017 due to planning of conservation works. The Bluestone Building was closed to the public (from January 2016 - July 2017) when structural assessment for repairs commenced by the new managers of Pipemakers Park, The City of Maribyrnong.

Works are scheduled to be completed by July 2018.In the meantime the Museum is hosting a limited program of contemporary art exhibitions, the out come of residencies where artists have worked with the Museum's archives to develop new works.

September 2018

January - February 2018


Bollard City, by Nina Sanadze
Bluestone Building, March 17 - 25 March, 2017

Saturday- Sunday, 12- 5 pm, Tuesday 11am - 3 pm.

Bollard City examines the visual language of bollards and barriers, inviting viewers to reflect upon concepts of public safety and personal freedom.

Opening Saturday March 17, 3 - 5pm.
Writer and researcher, Peter Mares, will launch the exhibition.


A red wine cheers to the Intimacies of Industry - Alisha Abate
Bluestone building exhibition, January 27 - February 11, 2018
Saturday- Sunday, 12- 5 pm

Alisha Abate is a Midsumma Futures program participant.



November - December 2017

The Archival Reflex - Living Museum Visitor Centre, November 25 - December 9, 2017
Tuesday, Saturday- Sunday, 12- 5 pm

Zoe Ali & Chris Tsiolkas; Sam George, Kim Munroe and Lisa Radford;
Andrew Hazewinkel; Raafat Ishak
Curated by Matthew Davis and Susan Long



November - December 2017

 What are chives for?

Saturday 25 November 12pm-5pm
Sunday 26 November 12pm-5pm

Victorian College of the Arts Student Exhibition
Melbourne's Living Museum of the West

Taking into consideration the political and social implications of the Museum archive, Second Year Victorian College of the Arts Painting students will present new works that respond to the specificity of the site and the collection managed by the Living Museum of the West.

Billy Coulthurst, Jack Coventry, John Elcatscha, Jemima Gale, Jimi Gregg, Naoise Halloran-Mackay, Jordan Halsall, Sam Harrison, Letisha Hirniak, Tristan Ingleton, Michael Kennedy, Yesol Ma, Aurora Materia, Hannah Nilsson, Elsie Preston, Monique Revelle, Anabel Robinson, Madeline Simm, Elynor Smithwick, Victoria Stolz, Tim Van Cuylenburg, Penelope Walker-Keefe and Ariane Jaccarini.


June 2017

The Year of the Floods

Georgina Criddle and Melissa Deerson.
In 'The Year of the Floods' Georgina Criddle and Melissa Deerson present an exhibition based on their residency at the Living Museum of the West.

Listen carefully
Do not interrupt
Follow the flow
Ask one question
at a time

There are various categories of information about some women
And the museum is all around you.

So there's this artist she's sitting at her desk at the Living Museum of the West and she ends up finding a publication called 'Go West Young Woman!' well a diary actually from 1985, and it’s got interviews and photos of these women working in the munitions factories..

Like guns?

Yeah guns. Like ammunition.

When: June 11, 14, 15, 16, 17 (12-5pm). Opening June 10 3-5pm

Where: Visitor Centre/Bluestone building, Pipemakers Park, Van Ness Avenue, Maribyrnong.

‘Year of the floods’ is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.



Image: Melissa Deerson/Georgina Criddle, 2017

18 May 2017

International Museum's Day Event

Launch of web project: Footscray Wharves and environs
18 May, 1 pm Plough Hotel, Footscray.

footscray wharves and environs website


August 2016

A Gap Opens Up

Charlie Sofo



December 2015


Vessel for mixing metaphors

Susan Jacobs

This installation is the result of a body of sculptural work which began in 2013. Components of the work were first exhibited at the NGV in the exhibition 'Melbourne Now'.
The work has evolved through material experimentation, beginning with an attempt to make a rudimentary version of a late C19th plastic called Hemacite, which used animal blood as a binder with wood flour that was formed using hydraulic pressure moulding. The work crosses this reference with the production of Pig Iron, drawing out symbolic associations and familial relationships between elemental materials. In it’s current iteration, it responds to the industrial history of the Bluestone building.

Exhibition dates: December 12 -13.

hours 11- 6 pm

Image courtesy Susan Jacobs, photograph by Andrew Curtis




October / November 2015


A new exhibition, "Bluestone", opens next Tuesday 20th October at the Living Museum...showcasing five of Melbourne’s upcoming and emerging maker artists: Kate Sylvester, Aniquah Stevenson, Louise Meuwissen, Mel Jane Wilson and Hernàn Lopera.

"Bluestone"...Opening hours will be 10-4 Fri Sat Sun until the 20th November. Official opening, Saturday 24 th October, 4 - 6 pm.

Each artist has developed a unique style and approach to their contemporary art practise using craft based materials. The Bluestone Building will be transformed into a visceral infusion of fabric installation, sound and performance. An exhibition of contemporary art, held within a place so full of history, with exposed remnants of its past, has inspired ideas of experimentation. The exhibition will include music composed by Neil McDonald in collaboration with Aniquah Stevenson, while Kate Sylvester will incorporate dance into her work to utilise the mezzanine of the upper level. These inclusions are aimed to celebrate the magnitude of the aesthetics available within the warehouse space. The show overall, is a celebration of our collaborative creativity within an environment outside the studio and away from the known gallery space.

inside building


July 2015

ECHO - Sunday July 5 at 3 pm

Echo is the culmination of a brief research project by Eliza Dyball and Ash Kilmartin at Melbourne's Living Museum of the West.

(more information below)

postcard lmw

ECHO - July 5 at 3 pm

Echo is the culmination of a brief research project by Eliza Dyball and Ash Kilmartin at Melbourne's Living Museum of the West. (more information below)

Using the Museum's extensive archives of life and work in the city's western suburbs, Dyball and Kilmartin have selected stories from the diverse history of the area, to compose a new collaborative work for the Living Museum's visitor centre and Bluestone Building.

Developed over a period of only four weeks, Echo will draw on the knowledge and experience of visitors, as well as the rich social, industrial, botanical and geological life of the area as represented and preserved by the Museum itself. The once-only event will present an embodied sense of the scale of historic activity on this unique site.

Sunday 5 July, 3-4pm
Location: Melbourne's Living Museum of the West, Pipemakers Park, Maribyrnong.
Refreshments will be served!

The artists wish to thank Kerrie Poliness; and also acknowledge Westspace and Jane O'Neill whose ongoing engagement with the Museum have made this opportunity possible.

postcard lmw

Changing Environment of Melbourne's West: Our Poetic Prince, Throroughbred stallion, standing at Stockwell Stud, Diggers Rest. This gentle horse is the winner of over $1.6 million in prize money, the richest prize-winner in Australasia. Photograph, C. Dennis. © 1990 Melbourne's Living Museum of the West


Have your say...

Master plan, Pipemkaers Park

Council are now seeking feedback on the Draft Master Plan to prepare a final version for Council endorsement, and welcome your ideas and input in the Masterplan through the following contacts.

On site Pioneer Women’s Shelter, on the river edge at Pipemakers Park
Saturday 18th July, 10am to 12 noon

Living Museum of the West Visitor Centre
Wednesday 15th July, 6-7pm

If you require further information, please contact the City Design Unit on 9688 0591.



Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West would not exist without Joan Kirner.  Joan’s collaboration with David and Eva Yencken and her ability to persuade key people like Evan Walker and Ray Marginson kick-started this innovative ‘eco-museum’ in 1983. Joan continued to support the Museum as Patron until her passing.

Joan embraced all people with her generous spirit and warm acknowledgement of the communities of the west and elsewhere.  The Living Museum of the West and its members are grateful, and proud to add their voices to the accolades being made on her behalf.

Roger Holloway
Vice President, Melbourne's Living Museum of the West

joan kirner



May 2015


MADE IN MARIBYRNONG- May 2 and May 6, at 3 - 4 pm

Talk (free) presented by the Living Museum of the West

In conjunction with the National Trust Heritage Festival: Conflict and Compassion...


It is not well known that all the bullets used by the Anzacs and our soldiers in those dramatic campaigns in Turkey, France and Belgium were produced in Footscray and Maribyrnong. The supply side of war is as historically significant as the battles those supplies were used in. This talk will explore the development of providing those bullets and explosives in the suburbs of Melbourne one hundred years ago.

Living Museum of the West
Pipemakers Park
Gordon Street, Maribyrnong 3032 VIC


An exhibition of photographs and objects by artist Andrew Hazewinkel
(more details below)


In the historic Bluestone Building


An exhibition of photographs and objects by artist Andrew Hazewinkel investigating relationships between materials and remembering.

The exhibition culminates three and a half years research and brings to Melbourne works created in response to ancient things held at the Acropolis Museum in Athens, the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, the Archaeological Museum in Reggio Calabria, and the photo-archive at the British School at Rome. While the exhibition draws from far-flung artefacts, many of the works, which shed light on how the ancient is entangled with the contemporary, have been created much closer to home in Hazewinkel’s Maribyrnong studio.

Thursday 14 - Sunday 31 May 2015

12 – 6pm : Thursday 14, 21, 28
12 – 6pm : Friday 15, 22 (closed 29)
12 – 6pm : Saturday 16, 23, 30
12 – 6pm : Sunday 31

or by appointment info@andrewhazewinkel.com



On Tour

Volcano Dreaming is touring locally throughout January to end of April
back at the Visitor Centre late May 2015

Von Mueller Hall, Botanical Gardens Melbourne , May 7,
"Engergising Australian Grassland Management" Symposium 9.30 am - 5.20 pm

An exhibition about the critically endangered species of the Victorian Volcanic Plains.

Volcano Dreaming is a 12 metre, digitally constructed, photographic panorama that merges more than 3000 photographs taken during more than 100 field trips over a three year period. The panorama has been constructed to visually describe each of the key habitat types that have evolved within the plains and to show a variety of key species of flora and fauna within those habitats to help describe the complex relationships of its biodiversity.

Design, research, text, photography and digital construction by Peter Haffenden and Kerrie Poliness, © Inherit Earth. Funding for this project was made possible by EPA Victoria's - Inspiring Environmental Solutions program and granted through the Magistrates’ court to the Iramoo Sustainable Community Centre at Victoria University to support this community environment project and to engage Inherit Earth to produce this exhibition.

Key species photographers include: Trevor Pescott, Brian Bainbridge, Debbie Reynolds, Reto Zollinger, Liz Fenton, Chris Tzaros, Bev Wood, Melissa Doherty and Kerrie Poliness.






April 2015

RELATEDNESS an exhibition by Caroline Phillips and Catherine Johnstone.

Two artists explore the breadth of potentials to be found in a larger world.
Catherine Johnstone’s video installation engages in a dialogue with Muslim women, to explore perceptions of identity and relationships of reflexivity.

Caroline Phillips’ sculptures reveal interconnections between site and materials, to draw attention to the material nature of relationships.

EXHIBITION DATES: April 4 to April 19
GALLERY HOURS: Friday to Sunday 11- 4 pm

Further details on the LMW facebook page.
Enquiries contact Catherine Johnstone: 0405 844 782

exhibition image

exhibition image

March 2015


March 15 and March 22 - Film screenings presented by WEST SPACE

more details below...


Opening at the Living Museum of the West in March 2015, CHALKSTONE of the Indian art of Rangoli (also known as Muggu or Kolam), the delicate symmetrical patterns traditionally drawn in domestic areas during festivals and celebrations.

Visit the Bluestone Building at the Living Museum of the West to learn how to draw these intricate patterns according to the simple formation of a grid. Add to a colourful patterns according to the simple formation of a grid. Add to a colourful large scale floor work which expands along the floor of the Bluestone Building throughout the month of March.

This is a free event - chalk and instructions are provided. School bookings welcome. For furtherinformation, please call Jane O’Neill on 0412169391.

exhibition image

go west


March 15 and March 22 - Film screenings presented by WEST SPACE

free event, bookings and details

On Sunday 15th March, join us for the screening of two films: Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y and In Comparison, with a short film from the Living Museum Archive at the Living Museum of the West.

Book your free ticket: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/living-museum-of-the-west-screening-tickets-15826904698
Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y - Johan Grimonprez
Belgium, 1997, (DVD-Video), colour, 68 min

Programmed by Jessie Scott.

Buckle up for Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y, the acclaimed hijacking documentary that eerily foreshadowed 9-11. We meet the romantic skyjackers who fought their revolutions and won airtime on the passenger planes of the 1960’s. By the 1990s, such characters apparently are no more, replaced on our TV screens by stories of state-sponsored suitcase bombs. Director Johan Grimonprez investigates the politics behind this change, at the same time unwrapping our own complicity in the urge for ultimate disaster. Playing on Don DeLillo’s riff in the novel 'MAO II,' ‘What terrorists gain, novelists lose’ and ‘Home is a failed idea’, he blends archive hijackings with surreal and banal themes including fast food, pet statistics, disco and his quirky home movies. David Shea wrote the superb soundtrack to this roller coaster through history, best described in the words of one hijacked Pepsi executive as: “running the gamut of many emotions: from surprise to shock, to fear, to joy, to laughter and then again, fear.”

Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y addresses the mass media manipulation by, and complicity with terrorism. The gratuitous facilitation of ISIS' grotesque, sophisticated, layered propaganda across all forms of media, with its call backs to Abu Graib and Guantanamo and deployment of seductive, radical and pop-culture iconographic such as the black flag, are verily admired by the media (recognising their own offspring), but remain largely uncritiqued as media objects, by artists or others. Grimonprez's Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y deploys that old chestnut: using the medium to critique the medium. Have we in fact lost the ability to do this: as our use of media, video in particular, becomes more ubiquitous and sophisticated, has our ability to see it diminished?

Living Museum Archival Footage Screening. GO WEST YOUNG WOMEN!

A play produced in 1986, directed by Rachael Fenham, written and produced by the cast including Michelle Howard, Lee Kennedy and Kate Kantor, who work closely with women who worked in the local munitions industry during the war. This short film includes excerpts of the filming of the play on opening night and an interview with the director and cast.

In Comparison - Harun Farocki
Germany, 2009, (DVD-R of) 16mm, color, 61 min

Programmed by Nic Tammens.

“I wanted to make a film [In Comparison] about concomitance and contemporary production on a range of different technical levels. So I looked for an object that had not changed too much in the past few thousand years. This could have been a shoe or a knife, but a brick becomes part of a building and therefore part of our environment. So the brick appears as something of a poetic object. I follow its mode of creation and use in Africa, India, and Europe."[1]
When a film abstains from being didactic, to introduce it with wordy convictions puts one at risk of saying too much.

In lieu of this, we might prepare by thinking: what is an image? what is society? what is the relationship between film and society? what is an institution? what is the relationship between the social and environment? what is the nature of work? and what is human within any of this?

Harun Farocki (1944-2014) was born in what was German Czechoslovakia during WWII. His beginnings as a filmmaker is marked by his expulsion from the German Film and Television Academy in 1969 when Farocki and fellow classmate Hartmut Bitomsky were ejected on the grounds of their political activism. Farocki supported himself by working for the West German television service and as a film critic, serving as the editor for FilmKritik from 1974 to 1984. In addition to making over 120 films he produced work for the purpose of exhibition in museums and galleries where his work has been extensively exhibited internationally.

Location: The Living Museum of the West is located at Pipemakers Park, Van Ness Avenue, Maribyrnong. Melway Map 28 B10.

– Turn left off Van Ness Road at the sign “Pipemaker’s Park”.
– Drive down the driveway to the Visitor’s Centre.
– If catching public transport to the Living Museum of the West from the city, catch the 57 tram and get off at stop Clyde St/Raleigh Rd (Maribyrnong), then it’s just a 5 min walk by the Maribynong River to the Living Museum.


On Sunday 22nd March, 2015, 2pm, join us for the screening of three films: YACKITY YACK (also known as YACKETTY YACK) and WSJV for WSJ4, with a short film from the Living Museum Archive at the Living Museum of the West.

Book your free ticket: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/living-museum-of-the-west-screenings-part-2-tickets-15826926764

OtherFilm presents a special rare screening of

16mm; Black and White; Sound; 86 minutes, 1974, Australia

In the early 1970s, Dave Jones came from Canada to work at La Trobe University in Melbourne. (He is now D.B. Jones, Professor of Film at Drexel University, Philadelphia.) Jones was part of a film/media department typical of the time, mixing theory and practice, very aware of cosmopolitan trends in culture and politics – and much more oriented towards art and anarchism than ‘industrial’ institutions like the official filmmaking-training schools. In one week, for four thousand dollars, Jones improvised Yackity Yack (sometimes referred to as Yacketty Yak) with his colleagues and friends from Melbourne’s progressive arts scene, shooting mostly in a large concrete basement.

It is a brilliant, scattershot satire on the dreams and delusions of radical filmmaking, referencing all the intellectual obsessions of the period: Godardian counter-cinema with its long tracking shots and droning monologues; cinephile reveries on beloved genres and auteurs (courtesy of the legendary critic John Flaus); feminist interventions. In fact, Yackity Yack does for militant film culture what Godard’s La Chinoise did for student Maoism, irreverently contradicting its pious aspirations with authoritarian realities. It is all very politically incorrect, driven by a splendidly absurdist, even ‘screwball’ sense of humour. Australia has not produced another film like it!
- Adrian Martin.

Footage from The Living Museum of the West Archive, A song in my Kazoo, 1985. Focussing on local bands from the Western suburbs, featuring interviews with and performances by the Footscray Highland pipe band, Hyde Street Band, Yarraville Mouth Organ band.


West Space Journal presents a program of material related radially to our upcoming Issue 4, What was a mining boom?, guest-edited by Sarinah Masukor & Gavan Blau. The issue aims to produce an non-linear archaeology of the boom as a loose historical period or cultural moment. Here we’ll show the work of FIFO-comedians, oral and cultural historians, re-enactors, young-people-as-giant-teeth in Roebourne and Cheeditha, American artists circling Uluru and so forth.

Andrea Geyer /
The idea that we will think of something when the time comes
The idea that time is linear […]
The idea that some things will always be the same yet never viewed from the same point.

1 Harun Farocki. In Artforum, February 2011.
http://artforum.com/words/id=27620. Accessed December 18, 2013.







Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West is a community Museum
which actively involves the people of Melbourne’s West and others in documenting, preserving and interpreting the richness and depth of the region’s social, industrial
and environmental history.










LMW is supported by Parks Victoria and the City of Maribyrnong

Pipemakers Park is managed by the City of Maribyrnong.