The 6th annual Dark Mofo Festival returns to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart, Tasmania from 13 to 24 June. Over twelve days the winter event will transform the city, showcasing Australian exclusive performances and artworks from over 750 artists. Since 2013, Dark Mofo has delved into solstice rituals, exploring links between ancient and contemporary mythology, religious and secular traditions, darkness and light.
This year, Dark Mofo includes a new prelude weekend from 7 to 10 June, featuring new major exhibition openings of ‘ZERO’ at MONA and ‘A Journey to Freedom’ at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG), an orchestral quartet at the Port Arthur Historic Site, plus a new weekend-long literature, film, and ideas event ‘Dark and Dangerous Thoughts’ as well as a masked costume ball.
The festival itself sees the return of Japanese musical artist Ryoji Ikeda’s xenon searchlight work spectra, the nude solstice swim at Long Beach, and the two-weekend, seven-night Winter Feast of food, drink and celebration. Come nightfall, the festivities continue with the industrial art playground Dark Park open until late and the late-night party precinct Night Mass surrounding the Odeon Theatre, which will present large-scale light and sound works from over 100 artists as well as musical performances.
The aforementioned MONA exhibition showcases major artworks from the Zero movement in Australia for the first time, and includes works by Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, Günther Uecker, Marcel Duchamp, Yves Klein, Heinz Mack, Hans Arp, Yayoi Kusama, Josef Albers, and many more.
Additional highlights include: ‘Lou Reed Jones: Drones’, a sound bath comprised of the late Lou Reed’s guitars and amps, created by Laurie Anderson and Stewart Hurwood; special screenings of NYC-based art collective duo Soda_Jerk’s work, Terra Nullius, a sample-based film that is part political satire and part eco-horror; United Visual Artists Musical Universalis, a work of eight orbs that turn in a darkened warehouse using the harmonic patterns of faraway celestial bodies in space; UK artist duo Rebecca French and Andrew Mottershead’s Waterborne is an audio meditation on the process of a human body decaying in water; American artist Matthew Schreiber presents Leviathan, a large-scale geometric sculpture made of lasers and light; and Chalkroom, a collaborative virtual reality work between American virtual reality artist Laurie Anderson and Taiwanese artist Hsin-Chien Huang.
Creative Director Leigh Carmichael states, ‘Dark Mofo is moving towards its sixth iteration, and we’ve pulled together our most expansive line-up yet, spread over three weekends and presenting more than 750 artists, 22 exhibitions, two opera companies, two theatre companies, one puppet theatre company, one orchestra, and a community choir.’