Tuesday, May 20, 2014

MONA - Prepare to be offended

The Museum of Old and New Art - Hobart, Tasmania.
My favourite installation: A mind bogglingly huge projection of meaningless data changing and flickering at an incomprehensible rate accompanied by beeps.

Here's what I do. I talk about going places and doing things, and I talk about it for years, but I don't take the first step.
Everything I've done, I've done because Sandra has bought my ticket, put down a deposit, signed me up.
And so it was with MONA. I first read about David Walsh and MONA in the Weekend Australian when it opened in 2011.
I instantly, badly wanted to go. And have ever since.
Sandra lined the whole thing up in secret and had to stop me from making climbing plans for the weekend. She went all out, we stayed at the most fabulous Henry Jones Art Hotel on Constitution dock, I've always wanted to go there too.
Check in.

We got an amazing room.
The bathroom could have been bigger.

I had read the reviews and I was prepared to be challenged or even offended by the exhibitions. I had concerns that perhaps I would find myself to be conservative, or that I would agree with 
Michael Conner that  "Mona is the art of the exhausted, of a decaying civilisation . Display lights and taste and stunning effects illuminate moral bankruptcy."
I didn't.
I wasn't offended. I was inspired, amazed, intrigued, uplifted, soothed.
Half an hour of commercial television will offend me. That's where I find my evidence of a decaying civilisation. That and question time in parliament.

I took photos at MONA but I won't post them here. MONA asks us not to. And anyway why spoil surprises?

Lunch at the Salamanca Markets
They were supposed to disperse and flutter gracefully. They dumped on her.
Wandering around the docks.

Sandra doing her share of the heavy lifting. 
From our window we kept an eye on the changing light catching the Antarctic Supply Ship "Aurora Australis". The news on the way home said a new ship would be commissioned, this time not built in Newcastle, but Europe.

Let's make Zinc!
They do along the Derwent river.

Listeners, you know I love Jazz. Not Swing, not Bossa, not Trad nor smooth, not neo-be bop, dixie, rag, Kansas City, nor Vocal. But arse-out self indulgent, cliché free make-the-shit-up-as-you-go Jazz.
So I was in a deep state of pleasure arriving back at the hotel bar to find these guys noodling away in their own augmented 13th world.
Here's a quick Jazz playlist I knocked together if you are in the mood. For 15 hrs.

OK, just one shot inside MONA. But strictly no art!

So here's where I'll slag off at MONA.
We booked the full degustation lunch at "The Source" restaurant above MONA, I thought why not go the whole way, we may never be here again. The moment I walked in I knew I'd made a mistake. It was a fucking bore.
The only good thing was watching Sandra get hammered in 20 minutes flat trying to keep up with the sommelier as he matched a bucket of wine to every bite. She got rowdy.
I was burping those little pickled carrot things till dinner time. Awful shit. Four hundred bucks worth of dead boring.  But so funny. Just go to the cafe or the fab wine bar instead.

I rode a cow to MONA. True.

Thank you Sandra and Willow and Lotus. It was THE most fabulous weekend ever.