10 Super Fun And Weird Things To Do At Dark Mofo
Decoding the mysterious lineup.
After announcing Antony and The Johnsons as their first international headliner last week, Tasmania’s mid-winter festival of music, food and arts Dark Mofo have announced their full line up, and it’s eclectic, eccentric and beautiful. But typical of all things MONA, the list is as vague as it is vast, with parts still shrouded in mystery. We decode ten of the highlights below.
#1 Wild at Heart
For fans of: Nature, adventure, slumber parties
It’s the ultimate Dark Mofo experience. A bus will take a group of adventurous souls on a self-guided offbeat tour of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, curated by the Unconscious Collective. There’s a wild-fare hunted decadent banquet, a pop up forest bar, on site art exhibitions and nature hikes, all in the dark heart of Tasmania’s wilderness.
#2 Marina Abramović
For fans of: Cutting edge performance art, MONA, Lady Gaga, Willem Dafoe
Marina Abramović is one of modern art’s most prominent figures. She’s worked with Lady Gaga and this video of her reuniting with her former lover during one of her famed The Artist Is Present performances went viral a few years ago.
She’ll be the art star of Dark Mofo. She’ll have a major exhibition, she’ll be present at the Dark Mofo festival grand opening at MONA and she’ll have a public (free) chat with the gallery’s dark overlord David Walsh. Get on it.
#3 Anthony McCall
For fans of: Lights, fire, ghost ships
Avant-garde artist Anthony McCall specialises in cinema and projected film but has also been known to dabble in flammable art. He’s bringing three Australian-exclusive works to Dark Mofo – Night Ship involves a ship projecting strong pencil-slim light beams as it sail’s though Hobart’s harbour each night (you’ll hear it coming), Solid Light Works involves shifting light beams cutting through the haze at a warehouse that you can wander through and Landscape For Fire is an iconic performance from 1972, where 36 containers of flammable material are arranged in a grid and torched at dusk.
#4 Patricia Piccinini+ Peter Hennessey
For fans of: Skywhale, sci-fi, weird nature, technology, genetics, space
Patricia Piccinini, famed for her Skywhale hot air balloon sculpture will return to Tasmania for The Shadows Calling. Of her work, she says: “It’s about evolution, nature – how nature is such a wonderful thing, we’re just here to witness it, it’s not here for us – genetic engineering, changing the body.” Her work is cool, at time grotesque and always honest. Here, she teams up with artist, architect and astronaut enthusiast Peter Hennessey. Expect oddness, and lots of it.
#5 City of Hobart Dark Mofo Winter Feast
For fans of: Food, Instagram
A glorious banquet of delicious local food housed in a gigantic wharf with warming fires and performances galore. The most delicious item on the lineup.
For fans of: Darkness, dancing
The only information revealed so far is that Blacklist is a late-night ceremonial death dance. You can trust Dark Mofo to make it a good one.
#7 The Witches
For fans of: Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Goosebumps book series
For small kids and big kids (ages six and up), the Griffin Theatre Company presents a one-man adaptation of Dahl’s classic story The Witches about a group of she-devils hell-bent on turning children into rodents. Fun, funny, and a little bit spooky.
For fans of: Therapy, Hindu mythology
The demon-purging Balinese Ogoh-Ogoh parade will consist of two parts – the purging, where you can scribble your darkest fears on the beast sculptures at Macquarie Point’s Dark Park, and the burning, where the secret-laden beasts will be paraded through the waterfront part of town and ceremonially burned. Let it all out.
For fans of: Sculpture, nature, the night
Tyrone Sheather is a young Indigenous artist who was the recipient of prestigious Dreaming Award at the 7th National Indigenous Arts Award this year. His Dark Mofo contribution is a piece called Giidanyba (sky beings), which will involve seven floating sculptures above the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens depicting nocturnal spirits of ancient Aboriginal mythology. Make sure to move closer and closer for the full experience.
#10 Nude Solstice Swim
For fans of: Nudity, goosebumps
There’s a communal nude swim at sunrise on the morning of the shortest day of the year. Because of course there is.
(Lead image: Rémi Chauvin/courtesy of Dark Mofo 2015)