Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania

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MONA was one of my main reas­ons for visit­ing Tasmania. It’s basic­ally in an under­ground bunker like a Bond villain’s lair, and requires a boat ride to get to. The owner David Walsh, is the richest man in Tasmania and a very strange char­ac­ter in his own right- he grew up in a rough area of Hobart, and made his fortune by using maths to outsmart the gambling industry, and then spent it on this museum. He’s simul­tan­eously “math­em­at­ic­al geni­us” and “13 year old edgelord”. The museum has a phone app that gives you inform­a­tion about each piece when you get near it (using your own phone or a borrowed museum hand­set), and saves what pieces you saw, which made it easi­er to name the artists when putting these photos togeth­er.

Spec­trum Cham­ber by Charles Ross. You get a view of the spec­tac­u­lar scenery with prism refrac­tions over the walls.

Chapel by Wim Delvoye

Flat­bed Truck, also by Wim Delvoye

Most of the museum is in an under­ground bunker, and delib­er­ately avoids the white cube gallery style, instead­ing being a more Bladerun­ner style subter­ranean labyrinth. Here’s Fat Car by Erwin Wurm. He’s one of my favour­ite sculptors, but this isn’t my favour­ite by him- I prefer his weird melted people instead.

The most famous exhib­it in the museum- Cloaca Profes­sion­al by Wim Delvoye. It does a shit once a day at 2pm that you can come and watch.

Taxi­dermy exhib­it by Tessa Farm­er. I over­heard the most extremely Australi­an conver­sa­tion while stand­ing here- “Mummy, is that an echidna?” “no, it’s a hedge­hog, we don’t have those here”

No white walls or shush­ing here.

This part of the build­ing was labelled The Void. It reminds me of the Valley of the Kings and the passages into the tombs.

They obvi­ously had the same idea about Ancient Egypt because there was a mummy in the next room. The Ancient Egyptian’s name is Pausiris. There was also an exhib­it of holo­grams about the mummy, but they didn’t photo­graph well.

Again, getting away from the white cube effect, this room had black walls and lots of differ­ent paint­ings. However the app seems to have lost the details of this room two years later, so I don’t know who they’re by.

This was my favour­ite thing- super­sym­metry by Ryoji Ikeda – conceived on a resid­ency at CERN, a kind of nucle­ar disaster on a space station control centre with a relay of lights and drone noises and power-outs.

Blank library by Wilfredo Prieto

A swim­ming pool sized tray of Yves Klein blue pigment. There was an attend­ant there to make sure people didn’t play with it. It was very tempt­ing.

Beside Myself by James Turrell. They also had an attend­ant here to make sure people didn’t fall off the walk­way into the trough that helps create the visu­al illu­sion.

Restaur­ant entrance with Unseen Seen by James Turrell. I had planned to eat at the restaur­ant as a big treat, but it was a huge disap­point­ment. They really had noth­ing for me as a veget­ari­an. It was all extremely expens­ive meat and meat-heavy tast­ing menus. It was a £20 salad for me or noth­ing. I passed.

Sternen­fall by Anselm Kiefer. The decay­ing books are made of thin sheets of lead.

The owner’s car park­ing spot. Yeah…

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