‘Dark Mofo’ takes on Hobart’s wintery nights with a hot arts program

‘Dark Mofo’ takes on Hobart’s wintery nights with a hot program of art, music, feasts, rituals and a symposium weekend; presented by Mona – Museum of Old and New Art within several venues across the city from 6 to 23 June 2019.

This year’s theme delves ‘within a forest dark’, a line from Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy where the protagonist begins his descent into Hell before reaching salvation, ‘Dark Mofo’ guides the audience on a similar journey through simulated, mediated and real violence, extinction and the supernatural; showcasing everything from virtual reality, radioactive art, and deafening noise in a lead up to the solstice night, and a return to the light.

Cassils, Tiresias, 2013. Camera: Alison Kelly. Courtesy the artist and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York

Festival highlights: ‘A Forest’ is a contemporary ruin of art, noise, performance, and the violent undergrowth of human nature including, but not limited to: Marco Fusinato’s installation performing an intense assault of white light and white noise on the audience. Shilpa Gupta’s thicket of microphones and metal spikes, each piercing a verse whose poet was imprisoned for their words; and the body of Canadian artist Cassils pressed up against the back of a neoclassical male torso carved from ice, which – through body heat – slowly melts away.

Additional must-sees are Saeborg’s latex wonderland where a giant, pig gives birth to a litter of scrambling, human-sized piglets while livestock cavorts nearby around an inflatable, technicolour farmyard awaiting their fate in a demented circle of life; while Mona presents ‘cognitive illusions’ where we fail to notice the gorillas hanging about in our midst. Beware!


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