Wednesday, 26 January 2011

MONA - The Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania

"In 2011 evolution will become revolution when the Museum of Old and New Art unveils its radical artistic and cultural agenda" - Moorilla 

MONANISM is the name of the opening exhibition and in the program is explained as this 

monanism  [moh-nuh-niz-uhm]

1. obsessive characterised by an inability to discriminate between normative public behaviour and display of immorality and alternating self-loathing and egoism.

2. a behavioural  disorder which, when observed by a representative member of a population (esp. Australian), elicits the epithet "wanker"

            2010; by prothesis from onanism

The hotly anticipated opening of MONA happened on the 21.01.2011 and yours truly was there to add a smattering of glitter and fabulousness to the celebrations !! I performed my aerial show 'Roses are Dead' and of course 'A Gold Star' - with the 'Diamond Pussy' and the 'Bum Balloon. I was enlisted to perform at this event by the museum's director Mark Fraser who was headhunted for the job from Sotheby's and Brian Ritchie from The Violent Femmes.

MONA stands for The Museum of Old and New Art, affectionately known as The Museum of Sex and Death, which along with Taboo are amongst the favourite themes of millionaire owner David Walsh.

Now I know nothing at all about art or art history as my education was maths and science based so I am not even going to begin to tell you about the actual pieces being exhibited, rather I will shed some light on the thinking and reality of the whole project, as I understand it.

David Walsh is diagnosed with mild Asperges syndrome and is a mathematical genius, the locals refer to him as Rainman. He has a photographic memory and wins tens of millions of dollars a year playing Poker and takes home 40% of the TAB's annual profits by winning on the dogs and horse races using algorithms that he has devised - so he makes his money by gambling. All of the art in MONA is from his private collection.

The grounds that MONA has been built on is the Moorilla Winery Estate that the David Walsh Group bought in the 1990's on a headland along the Derwent River.  So now we have not only Sex, Death and Gambling and Taboo but we can add Booze to the equation : ) This might be a good place to note that I have not had a more drunk and enthusiastic audience in my whole career as I did at the VIP party on opening night, apparently they had been plied with absinth since 4pm. There is also a fully stocked bar built into the museum itself as it has been noted that some of the art can be more greatly appreciated after a few.

The architecture itself is another mind blowing feat as the museum is built underground, in excavated sandstone. The bottom level of the 3 story museum sits just 1 meter above sea level and will be prone to flood in the next 50 years, a fact to which Davids response is "It amuses me to think that in the unlikely event my building becomes an icon, in 50 years they'll be trying to work out how to save it.".

I have also decided that if I can't have my ashes sent into out of space then I want them buried at MONA which is also now a crematorium ... Well a sculpture of my cunt is already on the wall, along with 160 others mind .... so you know it makes sense.

OK so a little about the art then, my friend and sculpture Greg 'Humphrey' Taylor has his work 'Cunts: A Conversation' in there as part of the permanent exhibition and he has also been commissioned to make some new work, one of which is already in existence 'My Beautiful Chair', a joint project with Philip Nitschke, and includes a real life 'illegal' euthanasia machine .... apparently the church is outraged and this piece was the first to be vandalised on the second day of opening .... Greg was delighted by this fact as there was bets on as to which piece would be the first to go .... The Rotting Carcasses, The Shit Machine, and so on.

So that is it from me for now ..... here a few pictures that I took .... as for the rest you will have to find out yourself .... but here are some links to get you on your way.



The Entrance and it is Free. Free !!!

You can get there by the MONA ferry

Pro Euthanasia 

Me and My Cunt - Again !!

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