The devil’s playground waits for you
David Walsh has built a provocative display in his private museum, writes Jen Kelly
IT’S been called a ‘‘ subversive Disneyland at the end of the world’’ and it’s not hard to see why.
The Museum of Old and New Art, which opens in two weeks, a 15-minute drive from Hobart on the Derwent River, will include such provocative highlights as a defecating machine suspended from the ceiling that produces realistic, reeking excrement, and a sculpture cast in chocolate depicting the mutilated body of a suicide bomber.
In the toilets, one unmarked cubicle will boast a work that uses mirrors and binoculars to give you a personal encounter with your own bodily functions.
It’s billed as the biggest private museum in Australia and is the brainchild of the rich and enigmatic Tasmanian philanthropic art collector David Walsh, who’s been variously described as flippantly irreverent, a dyed-in-the-wool atheist, a professional gambler and even, intriguingly, ‘‘ the devil’’.
Walsh has promised a ‘‘ subversive adult Disneyland’’ and has said the museum is his soapbox ‘‘ and I’ve got one hell of a megaphone’’.
The site where the almost 6000sq m, mostly undergroundMONAwill open to the public on January 22 and showcase Walsh’s $100 million-plus private collection has long been operating as a winery called Moorilla, a brewery, a restaurant and luxury accommodation.
In our weekend at the site, where