Art, music, and winter rituals at Dark Mofo

Published:  April 23, 2013
Heath Killen
Art, music, and winter rituals at Dark Mofo

The Museum of Old and New Art have just announced their winter festival, Dark Mofo, which promises to be an audio visual experience like no other. Inspired by seasonal winter solstice rites (dating back to Neolithic times) MONA’S new festival celebrates both ancient and contemporary mythologies, darkness and light, birth and death, fire and ice – with some good music, art and food thrown in. The usual MONA obsessions, with a darker twist.

Premier Lara Giddings said: “Hobart takes on a dark beauty in winter. There is something very special about the crisp air, the imposing flanks of Mt Wellington dusted in snow and finding warmth by an open fire with a glass of red wine in hand. Dark Mofo will capture all of these elements and add the excitement of music, the tastes and smells of wonderful food and the lure of the unknown.”

A series of events will take place at and around the gallery in Hobart from Thursday 13th to Sunday 23rd of June. Besides the announcement of the festivals impressive lineup, the big news today is that MONA and Qantas are giving away free flights to the event.

“Rather than spend our money in the traditional way we have decided that we will give away free flights to Tassie,” said Dark Mofo creative director Leigh Carmichael “We are hoping social media does our marketing for us and that you know we are guaranteed to get at least 600 here if not a lot more.”

The festival’s lineup features an eclectic mix of metal, electronic, and noise music alongside work from some of the world’s most innovative and provocative artists. The lineup also features a curated mini-film festival with a distinctly Scandinavian theme.

Regarding the program, Carmichael had this to say “Dark Mofo is a celebration of the dark through large-scale public art, food, music, light and noise. The program explores the idea of darkness through exhibitions and performances held during the winter solstice period at venues throughout Hobart.”

We’ve picked some of the highlights from the festival below:

The Red Queen exhibition graphic

The festival will also signal the opening of The Red Queen, MONA’s next major exhibition – which follows Theatre of the World. Not much is known about the exhibition at this stage, beyond the fact that it will continue David Walsh’s “ongoing interest in the way art operates as part of the messy machinery of human nature.”

Spectra (Buenos Aires), site-specific installation, 2012 © Ryoji Ikeda / Dark Mofo 2013 - Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Hobart Tasmania

Ryoji Ikeda will be returning to MONA with a new installation titled Spectra [Tasmania] which will light up the Hobart sky.

“Imagine a tower of pure, white light, reaching fifteen kilometres into the Hobart sky above the Domain. At the base of the tower, forty-nine custom-made Xenon searchlights are set into the ground in a seven-by-seven grid; combined, they point a fleshless finger at our town straight down, it seems, from some sort of imagined, omniscient seat in the sky.”

The Presets

A number of big name Australian bands and musicians will be performing, including The PresetsMy Disco, and The Drones.

From overseas, musical guests include Mono and Boris, who will be playing along side some emerging Australian talent in the mysterious sideshow event Satanalia, which has been descried as “a big day of darkness”.

The Dark Mofo WinterFeast

For three nights MONA will be warm visitors ou with fire and feeding you delicious food from communal tables at the inagural Winter Feast. A-list guest chefs will include Christine Manfield (Universal), Frank Comorra (MoVida) and Ben Milgate & Elvis Abrahanowicz (Porteño), and working alongside them will be more than 30 food and drink stallholders, sourced from all over Tasmania.

And of course there is a range of art project and installations and much more. For complete program information visit the Dark Mofo site.


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