Mona, Mofo, Dark Mofo
In less than eight years, the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) has grown from an idiosyncratic art gallery on the outskirts of Hobart to an internationally celebrated and multifaceted cultural marvel. Under the spiritual directorship of David Walsh it has set the heartbeat of Tasmanian creative life, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the state and across the seas to its exhibitions, performances and various commissioned works.
Over the past year, the Mona gallery hosted the acclaimed travelling exhibition The Museum of Everything, as well as On the Origin of Art and Zero, and has opened a new wing, Pharos. Its January festival of music and art, MONA FOMA (aka Mofo), presented Gotye’s tribute to Jean-Jacques Perrey, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra’s live collaboration with Violent Femmes, Canadian alt-rockers Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Brian Jackson and the Southern Gospel Choir, Thembi Soddell, Austin Buckett, Electric Fields, Sonya Lifschitz performing Robert Davidson’s Stalin’s Piano, and much more.
Dark Mofo, its winter festival, brought to Tasmania acts including Laurie Anderson, Jagwar Ma, Einstürzende Neubauten, Chrysta Bell, Tim Minchin, Marlon Williams, Archie Roach and Tiddas, while presenting a feast of visual and performing arts such as the remarkable Under the Bitumen the Artist by Mike Parr.
The breadth of work presented over the past year under the various Mona banners is too great to list here let alone describe. Suffice to say, the combination of festivals, events, galleries and works has transformed the state and enriched the nation.