Saturday, 16 June 2012

I got a story for you - once you're dead, you're dead

MONA - the Museum of Old and New Art. It is the largest privately funded museum in Australia. The museum presents antiquities, modern and contemporary art from the David Walsh collection. David Walsh described the new museum as a "subversive adult Disneyland.

I had to visit MONA twice. On Saturday afternoon I went for a preliminary visit and then I went back for more on Monday. It was sensory overload. I felt as though I'd stepped inside someone else's head. You get given iPod like things which you out around your neck and which tell you on the screen about the artworks. Some of them have accompanying audio; interviews with the artist, the artist yodelling, music. There is also a summary of the work and extra articles that may have been written about them.

The Museum itself is an architectural masterpiece. It takes 30 mins from the Hobart pier down the Derwent river to Mona and suddenly it's there on a promontory, distinctive for its red rusted effect.The building goes down into the bowels of the earth. And the suggestion is to take the spiral staircase down to the bottom and work your way up. There are a myriad of rooms and walkways and spaces and 'hidden' bits. And it is absolutely a mixture of old and new. Sarcophagus, Damien Hirst, a room devoted to very beautiful but foul-smelling science lab paraphernalia which was a 'poo' machine. There is sculpture, painting, photography, conceptual. I was overwhelmed and I loved it.

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