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Journeys : Feb March 2011
February / March 2011 51 challenged, stimulated, shocked, provoked, infuriated and delighted by art like this: • Sidney Nolan’s monumental work Snake – 46 metres long and six metres high, w ith the sinuous form of the rainbow serpent slithering in shimmering colours through a field of 1620 separate panels. The mural is so huge that it has only once been shown (in Dublin, in 1973) – David Walsh changed the design of his galler y to accommodate it. • Belgian conceptual artist Wim Delvoye’s machine Cloaca, a re-creation in glass, plastic tubing and stainless steel of the human digestive system. A three-course meal goes into a blender at one end. At the other, out comes ... yes, that’s right. • The Sex & Death Gallery, at the end of a long passage lined with a kilometre of red velvet curtains. Powerful paintings from the Young British Artists group. Confronting photography. Strong stuff indeed. • Treasures from ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire, displayed in jewel-like niches set into two 22-metre walls covered in gold leaf. • Julius Popp’s work bit-fall, a ‘water- printer’ that creates a transient silvery cascade of random words plucked from real-time Google searches. • Video art, performance art, art that you make with your pulse, music that you create as you walk. It’s pretty hard to describe – you just have to be there. MONA is a sensational example of what can be achieved by a single-minded person with a passion, a vision, a swag of ideas, confidence in his judgement and heaps of money – and without having to run his plans past a focus group, a consultative committee, a board of directors or a bunch of ministerial advisers. At MONA, David Walsh has done exactly as he likes. He’s done it with a breathtaking, ball-tear ing sweep of panache and style. It might easily have gone embarrassingly, laughably wrong. But in fact, it looks like it’s going to go amazingly, thrillingly right. MONA FACTS What’s happening? The first MONA exhibition – MONANISM – opened in late January and will run until July. The wider complex includes the Moor illa Estate winery (tastings and cellar door sales), Moo Brew boutique brewer y (tastings and tours), The Source restaurant and a range of outstanding accommodation. How do I get there? Turn off the Brooker Highway at Berriedale and follow the signs to Moorilla Estate. There is limited parking on the site. ByfarthebestwaytogettoMONAison the fast ferry from Brooke Street Pier in the Hobart docks. Or why not pedal there on the Intercity Cycleway? What’s it cost? Entry to the museum is free but there are capacity limits. Don’t worry, it will still be free next week, next month and next year – and believe me, you’ll want to go back again and again. Previous page: MONA (Museum of Old and New Art); Centaur and angel, 1952, Sidney Nolan; David Walsh This page, clockwise from top left: Sternenfall/Shevirath ha Kelim, 2007, Anselm Kiefer; Head of a man, Italy, 1600 to 1700, Unknown; Mummy and coffin of Pausiris, 100 BCE to 100 CE; Fat Car, 2006, Erwin Wurm; Skin Flint, 1984, Jean-Michel Basquiat. All artwork images © MONA Museum of Old and New Art
Apr May 2011