The anti-art museum
who needs more grand masters when you could have a wall of 150 sculptures of women’s vaginas? Or so thought David Walsh, the creator of the Museum of Old and New Art: Tasmania’s ‘subversive adult Disneyland’. MONA opened in Tasmania in 2011 and has already become the island’s main tourist attraction. ‘Turns out it ain’t so great getting rich,’ Walsh wrote in Monaisms, a catalogue for the museum’s first exhibit (he amassed his fortune through professional gambling). ‘What to do? Better build a museum; make myself famous. That will get the chicks.’ Walsh dedicated MONA to the themes of sex and death, but it also seems to be dedicated to ruffling the feathers of the conventional art world: the museum is out not to be revered, but rather to intrigue, rile, offend, amaze and disgust. Among the hundreds of exhibits over the three levels of galleries, there have been a flattened red Porsche, the remnants of a suicide bomber cast in dark chocolate and, most notoriously, a massive ‘poo machine’ (Wim Delvoye’s ‘Cloaca Professional’) that replicates the digestive system (complete with excretions). Yes: art has gone to sh*t.