Dark Mofo 2015 – it begins
Now in its third year, the Museum of Old and New Art’s winter festival Dark Mofo has carved its niche in Australia’s cultural landscape by celebrating the dark through large-scale, skyscraping art. This year, it’s time to make some noise, with explosive volume that’s measured in horsepower.
Dark Mofo opens on Friday 12 June with a grungy new festival precinct, Dark Park, located at Macquarie Point. Dark Park takes a disused industrial space – a landscape of stacked shipping containers and barren expanses of gravel – and fills it with some of Mona’s favourite things: food vans, bars, art and people, from 4pm to 10pm each night of the festival.
Dark Park will feature an enormous Fire Organ by Dutch artist Bastiaan Maris with producer Duckpond, that plays flamethrowers and creates a symphony of explosions. Bass Bath by Melbourne artist Byron J. Scullin with producers Supple Fox is a towering semicircle of subwoofers inside a cavernous old freezer, immersing participants in bass frequency requiring signed waivers and two layers of ear protection. British-born American avant garde artist Anthony McCall’s works will fill warehouses with large-scale animated conical spotlights to play amongst, and a film projection of his previous work.
McCall’s Night Ship will sound its foghorn and arc its searchlights along the River Derwent nightly from 7pm to 8.30pm – so head to the waterfront at 7pm for the experience. Massive hand-carved Balinese ogoh-ogoh demons will be looming over an altar where people can write down their worst fears, throw them in the monster’s mouths, and come back on the last night of Dark Mofo – the longest night – to participate in a procession of demons from Dark Park to the Winter Feast, for a ritualistic burning to cleanse the community of our collective fears.
“Dark Mofo is heading into new sensory territory this year, with some aural challenges for our audiences,” Dark Mofo Creative Director Leigh Carmichael said.
“Part of the original vision for Dark Mofo was for it to become Mona’s large-scale public art project. This is the first year that we have a number of large-scale projects right across the city. From Dark Park at Macquarie Point to the Hothouse at Salamanca Place, and stretching as far away as Tinderbox to Mona with Night Ship. In a sense, we’re turning the entire city into a twisted art playground.”
Last year, Dark Mofo attracted more than 130,000 people to events across 10 days. This year, coinciding with the opening of Mona’s major exhibition, Private Archaeology by Marina Abramović at 6pm on Saturday 13 June, the festival features performances from around 250 artists hailing from a dozen different countries across the world.
Dark Mofo continues with exhibitions and performances at Detached in Hobart’s CBD, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Rosny Barn, Theatre Royal, Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, Narryna Heritage Museum, Contemporary Art Tasmania, St. David’s Cathedral, University of Tasmania Centre for the Arts, Farrall Centre, and the Peacock Theatre at Salamanca Arts Centre.
The Dark Mofo music program at the Odeon Theatre features a number of Australian exclusives including Antony and the Johnsons with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and British art pop collective The Irrepressibles, as well as the Dark Mofo Films program at the State Cinema, and the late-night participatory art party Blacklist, as well as five nights of a longer and lustier City of Hobart Dark Mofo Winter Feast at Princes Wharf across to Salamanca Lawns, and the Nude Solstice Swim to welcome back the light.
Hobart is Australia’s darkest capital city with the longest night of winter in the country. Brace yourself, bring earplugs, get weirder and darker with Dark Mofo 2015.
Dark Mofo is a project of Mona supported by the Tasmanian Government through Events Tasmania, and City of Hobart, Tourism Tasmania, plus many more valued partners.