Why You Can't Miss MONA's Inaugural Winter Festival, Dark Mofo 2013

Why You Can't Miss MONA's Inaugural Winter Festival, Dark Mofo 2013
(Courtesy MONA)

When the people behind Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) put on a show, they REALLY put on a show – and the upcoming Dark Mofo 2013, MONA’s inaugural winter festival, is no exception. Beginning 13 June, Dark Mofo will transform Hobart into a winter wonderland of incredible experiences that will make you wish it was winter all year round.

In their usual over-the-top, no-holds-barred style, MONA will celebrate all things brooding, bewitching, and beguiling with an incredible program featuring some of the world’s best artists, performers and musicians. If past MONA festivals are anything to go by, Dark Mofo will be an unforgettable experience.  

Art aficionados can expect to be well catered for with a range of exhibitions featuring the likes of enigmatic New York-based Australian sculptor Ian Burns as well as world renowned Japanese sound and visual artist Ryoji Ikeda, whose monumental sound and installation work “Spectra” will be a highlight of the festival.

Cinema buffs will be spoilt for choice with an intense film program that includes Lars Von Trier’s Danish thriller “A Hijacking,” survival thriller “The Deep” by Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur, and Swedish crime thriller “Easy Money” by Daniel Espinosa.

Music lovers will be hard pressed to resist the lure of The Presets, Martha Wainright, The Drones, and You Am I. The Festival club, Dark Faux Mo, will ensure plenty of late-night action with a super line-up of nightclub notables including Miles Brown, Mixmasters, The DC3, and Super Wild Horses. Fancy something a little more nostalgic? How about a screening of the Disney classic “Fantastia” with live music by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra?

For those who fancy a bit of theatre, Launceston’s Princess Theatre and Hobart’s Theatre Royal will play host to “Vandemonian Lags – New Songs from the Prison without Walls,” an exploration of Tasmania’s creepy and sometimes funny convict history through song, performance, and projections.

Dark Mofo will also see the launch of the new exhibition “The Red Queen*,” an exploration of the messy machinery of human nature that asks the question: why do humans make art? The exhibition features more than 100 pieces from the MONA collection including ancient artefacts as well as works by Marina Abramovi?, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Mike Parr, Kutlug Ataman, and Wang Jianwei.

“We are trying to show that there is really no difference between the people who drew on the caves of Lascaux and Yves Netzhammer who painted on the walls of our gallery in April,” explains “The Red Queen*” curator Olivier Varenne.

As if the above wasn’t reason enough to attend the Festival, Dark Mofo will also host the launch of MONA’s first large-scale public art program, “Beam In Thy Own Eye,” an exciting exploration of the way different visual and auditory phenomena shape our perception of reality. Artists featured in the program include Tim Bruniges, Kurt Hentschlager, Anish Kapoor, and Alfredo Jaar.

Here, the “beam that is in thine own eye” is meant to refer to the faults in ourselves, but it beautifully conjures the notion of our reality shining from within,” explains MONA owner David Walsh. “The conversation we have with art is a conversation with ourselves. And in this Dark Mofo exhibition, ‘Beam In Thine Own Eye,’ we let the mind's eye shine.”

A MONA event would be complete without at least one fabulous feast. Cue Curioser and Curioser, a magical event that will bring together chefs Philippe Leban, David Moyle, and Gabriel Loborico with a team of artists, singers, and performers for a living exhibition-installation-feast of sumptuous cocktails and scintillating courses. Expect to play and be entertained.

A final word from the Don of Dark Mofo , David Walsh: “It took me some time to realise that I like our winters. I used to leave for at least a month in the middle of the year. So I don’t know if Dark Mofo is an excuse for me to stay (that I don’t need any more) or a reason others should come. If they come – when they come – they might well decide that Tasmanian winters are worthwhile also.”

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Dark Mofo are also giving away $100,00 worth of flights to Hobart. Now you have no excuse not to go.

For more information visit the Dark Mofo website here