No trip to Hobart is complete without a visit to the Museum of Old & New Art (MONA). Founded by gambler/art collector David Walsh in 2011, a privately owned contemporary art museum that defies conventions, packed with eclectic pieces which are often confronting and challenging with a generous representation of female artists. MONA has done for Hobart what Guggenheim had done for Bilbao in Spain – the swift regeneration of the sleepy southern-most state into one of the hottest art destinations in the country, if not the world.
Earlier this year, I traveled to Tasmania and MONA (in the midst of its annual MOFO festival) was at the top of my list. After spending a full day at the museum, and thinking of my years studying Bachelor of Visual Arts, it was refreshing to see art can be done for arts sake.
Highlights from MONA and MOFO
Engpass (Bottleneck) by Roman Signer
Originally installed in January 2011, the silver 1982 Rover 3500 SE was squeezed between two concrete walls. Over the years, the installation has decayed over the years with some beatings to the rear, even more evocative of a car wreckage.
Queen (A Portrait of Madonna) 2005 by Candice Breitz
A multi-channel video installation depicting super Italian Madonna fans singing the entire Immaculate Collection album, acapella. Examining the star status of Madonna, the fans often mimic her moves, evoking the themes Madonna has challenged throughout her career. As a Madonna fan, it made me question how much of an influence she has had on me and my work, subliminally and consciously #bitchwearemadonna. Watch the entire video on Vimeo.
The Mice and Me by Meghan Boody
A morbid self portrait of the Boody as a child, a drooling doll enclosed in a cage in a fairytale-like dress with pet mice. Whimsical, macabre, perfect!
Chapel by Wim Delvoye
A useful piece of architecture or sculpture? The Chapel features ornate mock-gothic architecture and stained-glass windows – a nod to tradition and history? Think again… the windows feature erotic images, and yes, you can get married there. David did.
Untitled by Jannis Kounellis
A wooden chair, enamel bowl and two goldfish swimming puzzled around a large knife. As far as I know, the fish haven’t swum into it.
Exxopolis by Architects of Air (on exhibition during MOFO only)
A large-scale, inflatable luminarium… referencing mosque architecture, the sculpture plays with light and colour and encourages wonderment and curiosity. Currently traveling the arts festival circuit, be sure to catch it in your city.