Tasmania’s own Dark Mofo Festival, produced by the Museum of Old and New Art, claims to draw its inspirations from years ago when winter meant celebrating the seasonal solstice, dancing around fires naked and letting the devils spirit take hold! Alas, no naked dancing has taken place, and the featured art installations seem to be adhering to an extra-terrestrial theme.
The major public art project of the Dark Mofo Festival is a series of installations housed within shipping wharfs, combined to create Beam in Thine Own Eye, an art project curated by Olivier Varenne and Nicole Durling that aims to make us see the faults inside ourselves, but to accept the beauty that also shines within. From alien rooms full of mysterious fog and probing strobe lights that attack you, The installations vary from using mirrors to create the never ending passages we face within ourselves to dousing the viewer in extreme and intense white light, supposedly to shine light upon that which lives inside of us, but that we refuse to accept. One installation uses sound and light to generate digital images of the viewer, giving us a face to blame our faults upon while another seeks to educate and consume us.
Hugely popular among Hobart’s art community, the project saw hundreds of festival goers through the Dark Mofo gates, lines stretching from the entrances of the installations clocking up to an hour in wait time. The makeshift Food Hall is furnished with vintage and retro furniture to lounge upon, blankets to snuggle beneath and heaters to sit by, Macquarie Wharf 1 became the cities homiest bar serving one of Tasmania’s best beers, originally based and brewed at the MONA grounds – Moo Brew.
The winter counterpart to MONA’s summer Mona Foma Festival, Dark Mofo is Tasmania’s most unique event extending the vision of the Museum of Old and New Art into the public sphere from June 13-22.