Paid three consecutive visits to the new and very fabulous Museum of New and Old Art (MONA) in Hobart last weekend with Lisa George Michael Cruise Brando nee Bourne. She and the seven other women in our party were blown away by the place – so radical, so chic and so free! Arriving first by ferry ($15 each way from Constitution Dock), we got a proper appreciation of the building’s siting on the banks of the Derwent River at Berriedale on the Moorilla Winery Estate.
The rusty ochre steel facade was glowing orange in the mid-morning light, and we headed excitedly up the stairs to the entrance beside a tennis court sans net. Inside, we had the choice of a syringe-like elevator or a staircase spiraling around it to take us back down to the ground floor where visitors are encouraged to begin their tour. The massive sandstone rock carved out for the building’s construction is exposed and used as a backdrop for art works like the stunning ‘bit.fall’ word waterfall by Julius Popp which also provides a pulsating echoing soundscape as each liquid line of text hits the ground second after second.
There were surprises around every corner – the gorgeous life size ‘Skull’ gifted by the artist Jan Fabre who made it out of scarab beetle carapaces and a small taxidermied nightingale (pictured), and the enormous head ‘Artifact’ by Gregory Barsamian with crazy strobe synapses going off incesantly inside. Even the toilets housed art as I discovered when on the 3rd visit I finally located ‘Locus Focus’, a mirrored bowl that you can peer into with a pair of binoculars and watch yourself taking a dump – a most fascinating experience!
Lisa GMCBneeB was particularly taken by the room where you lay down on comfy silver cushions and watch 30 screens containing 30 different Madonna fans singing tracks from her ‘Immaculate Conception’ album a capella. Being nee Bourne, she also respected the ‘O’ – a most 21st century ipod-like device that locates your position in the gallery and finds information on any particular art work you may wish to explore in more detail. You can hear the ‘art wank’ version or the ‘gonzo’ one provided by the mastermind and moneybags behind this sexy new beast of a place, David Walsh. But it’s all uploaded randomly so you might be reading or listening to something completely different to the next person who programs it in after you. You then have the option of pressing the ‘love’ or ‘hate’ button accordingly and receiving statistics on how many other visitors have felt likewise.
At the end of our three day intensive we devised a ditty in honour of the gallery, sung to the tune of The Kink’s classic ‘LOLA’, a performance of which was captured on an iphone and will soon be uploaded to the nellevision Youtube channel. It is, of course, x-rated, so if you want access please provide details and I’ll slip you the secret code. Stay tuned funchkins!