“That all the world will be in love with night, and pay no worship to the garish sun.”
– Juliet Capulet
The winter bout of Mona’s almighty contribution to society and its underbelly is coming on with a vengeance. Ancient traditions will collide with contemporary culture this June as Dark Mofo’s shadow grows across the city of Hobart, Tasmania once again. But what awaits us, in the dark?
Dark Mofo 2016 takes place from Friday 10 June to Tuesday 21 June, spreading its tendrils into new spaces around the state with events across Hobart’s waterfront: from Salamanca Place to Dark Park at Macquarie Point; at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery; up river to Mona; and further, to the historic Willow Court in New Norfolk.
Dark Mofo: 10-21 June, 2016
+ DARK MOFO WEEK ONE +
Wednesday 8 June – Tuesday 14 June
Mike Parr’s Asylum is a one-off installation at Willow Court in the Derwent Valley, in which the seminal Australian performance artist will create works in response to the site of an historic mental institution dating from 1827.
(Entry by Mirror Only performance in Asylum: 12 noon Thursday 9 June for 72 hours, entry price is a mirror, which you will leave behind).
(Asylum: entry is free, Monday 13 June, 12-4pm and Saturday 18 – Sunday 19 June, 12-4pm).
ZHU (UK) brings the Dark Mofo opening night party to our Neon City with a compelling cocktail of electronica and deep house, kicking off a weekend of after-hours queer and deliciously dark music programming. BYO glowsticks. “Will now deny to dance?” – Lord Capulet.
(Friday 10 June, 7.30pm, all ages, MAC2).
Dark Park is Dark Mofo’s industrial public art playground at Macquarie Point on Hobart’s docks; a place to explore comfort zones, with an unsettling array of works by international artists including immersive and interactive installations in a storm of stimulation continuing nightly throughout the festival.
(Friday 10 June until Sunday 19 June, 5pm-10pm, free entry to Park; some installations ticketed, as below).
Our Time – United Visual Artists (UVA, UK) This London-based collective creates a grid of pendulums, suspended in a huge warehouse, and set into unified motion. Mind your head. (Free).
Bodystorm – Grupo EmpreZa (Brazil)
This bracing Brazilian performative group will create a physical installation inspired by sandstorms, tornadoes and other windy phenomena. (Free)
THUNDERHEAD – Tina Havelock Stevens
You may know her as ‘White Drummer’, performing in the waters off Little Frying Pan Island near Mona. Here, Havelock Stevens will drum up some apocalyptic meteorological drama with an improvised one-off live response to a video of the perfect storm along Highway 54 in Texas. (Free).
The Cloud – Patrick Hall
The artist who created Mona’s “I love you” drawers (When My Heart Stops Beating, 2011) celebrates our brief time here with hundreds of illuminated faces hanging overhead in bottles, weeping into a thin skim of water on the ground below. (Free).
Anemographs, 2016 – Cameron Robbins
Complementing his Mona exhibition, Field Lines, Robbins’ ephemeral LED light drawings will transcribe the patterns of the wind. (Free).
House of Mirrors – Christian Wagstaff and Keith Courtney
An elaborate chamber of kaleidoscopic reflections create a disorientating installation in which to lose yourself—and your friends. (Door sales $10).
Divination – Nancy Mauro-Flude
A thirties-era DaDa cabaret crossed with cypherpunk internet café, peopled by talkbots and other data-driven non-humans. (Maiden voyage: Friday 10 June, 7pm. Register for the event in advance here. Installation continues until Sunday 19 June, 5-10pm. Free).
The Labyrinth – Mayonaize
An experience that will morph and evolve throughout the festival in a joint project between calligraphic Melbourne street artist Mayonaize and Richmond Maze. (Door sales $10).
A Galaxy of Suns – Michaela Gleave & Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Chorus
Constellations are transcribed into scores, as members of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Chorus sing the stars with lead artist Michaela Gleave, composer Amanda Cole and programmer Warren Armstrong. (Friday 10 + Saturday 11 June, 5pm, Free. Exhibition ongoing).
“It’s our belief that Tasmania cannot achieve its winter tourism potential without Tasmania Museum and Art Gallery, so we are very pleased to partner with them on this upcoming exhibition.”
– Dark Mofo Creative Director Leigh Carmichael
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery‘s major winter exhibition, Tempest, will be a romantic shipwreck of piracy and wild weather, creating a wunderkammer in the entire gallery space.
Curated by Juliana Engberg, Tempest will feature historic works from TMAG and other state collections alongside new works by Tacita Dean (UK/Germany), Rodney Graham (Canada) Fiona Tan (Indonesia/Holland), Victor Alimpiev (Russia), William Kentridge (South Africa), Hernan Bas (USA), Mariele Neudecker (Germany/England), Valerie Sparks, Rosemary Laing, Pat Brassington, Paul Wood, Ricky Swallow, Kit Wise and David Stephenson.
Opens Friday 10 June, 5pm; Saturday 11 – Monday 13 June, 10am – 4 pm; continues Tuesday – Sunday until November 20, 10am – 4pm. Free.
Event for a Stage is presented for Tempest; the Australian premiere of a new stage-to-film work at the State Cinema by the celebrated Turner Prize-winning ‘Young British Artist’ Tacita Dean OBE. A cinematic iteration of the artist’s multi-form exploration of acting and the creative process, starring Stephen Dillane (Game of Thrones, The Hours, Spy Game, King Arthur), and shot live during the nineteenth Biennale of Sydney. (To be opened by the biennale’s artistic director, Juliana Engberg on Thursday 16 June at 6pm, with screenings on Saturday 18 June – Sunday 19 June, 1pm. Tickets $25 +BF).
Mona’s winter exhibition, Field Lines, by Cameron Robbins utilises mechanical instruments to create artworks from the natural elements, including new site-specific works responding to the museum’s location. Curated by Nicole Durling and Olivier Varenne. “Now art thou what thou art—by art as well as by nature” – Mercutio. (Opens Saturday 11 June, 4pm, continues during museum hours until Monday 29 August. Included in museum entry; $20-$25, free for Tasmanians).
Also at Mona, the latest addition to the Mona collection is a new immersive sensory installation, Ryoji Ikeda’s supersymmetry [experience]. supersymmetry [experience] is the outcome of Ikeda’s residence during 2014-15 at CERN (French for European Council for Nuclear Research; home of the Large Hadron Collider) in Geneva, and references the extension of space-time symmetry that relates to two basic classes of elementary particles (boson and fermion) to help explain why particles have mass. (Opens Saturday 11 June, 5pm. Ongoing during museum hours, included in museum entry; $20-$25, free for Tasmanians).
Black Box is a pop-up performance space for some Dark arts in the MAC2 Backspace, Macquarie Wharf, near Dark Park.
(Opens Saturday 11 – Sunday 19 June, various times below).
Ryoji Ikeda – supercodex [live set]
A battle of digital noise, blips, and bass drones created from raw data and mathematical models. You shouldn’t miss this Japanese noise maestro in action. “I shall be deaf to pleading and excuses” – Prince Escalus. (Saturday 11 June, 9pm, $29 +BF).
Lustmord (Australian Exclusive)
A chaotic performance from the progenitor of dark ambient music. “These violent delights have violent ends” – Friar Lawrence. (Sunday 12 June, 7pm, $29 +BF).
RBMA presents Ephemera (Live) with Tim Hecker and Marcel Weber (MFO)
“Straining harsh discords and unpleasing sharps” – Juliet. Immerse yourself in a synaesthetic spectacular of sound and light, complete with the scent of drone composed by conceptual perfumer Geza Shoen. (Wednesday 15 June, 6pm + 8pm, $29 +BF).
Featuring an ensemble of young performers and musicians, Fraught Outfit and St Martins deliver a hallucinatory theatrical event; a dream-like invocation of Dionysian excess and violence as told through the eyes of teenage girls. Conceived by Adena Jacobs and Aaron Orzech, with music by Kelly Ryall. Adult themes. “A challenge, on my life” – Mercutio. (Friday 17 June + Saturday 18 June, 7pm; Sunday 19 June, 1pm, $39 +BF).
Blacklist is Dark Mofo’s irrepressible late-night art party, evolving this year as Dark Mofo takes over a larger and wilder Hobart City Hall precinct, with artists to be announced. It’s a blacklist you want your name on – both weekends. “Give me my sin again” – Romeo.
(Saturday 11 June, Sunday 12 June, Friday 17 June, Saturday 18 June, 10pm till late. Tickets $39 +BF, door sales $45 subject to capacity).
Visual arts highlights around the city will occupy gallery spaces, public spaces, dockside buildings, tunnels, roundabouts, and make spontaneous appearances during the festival, including Night Garden in Triabunna and Hobart’s CBD, Neither Here Nor There in the pedestrian tunnels under the Fountain Roundabout, Brainstorm at the Tasmanian Centre of the Arts, Dark Ocean at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Made of Holes at Rosny Barn, Big Cheese at Contemporary Art Tasmania, and more.
Telling women’s stories through women’s songs, Shellie Morris, Emma Donovan, Deline Briscoe and Ursula Yovich of our Aboriginal nation are the Songwomen of Black Arm Band, joined by True North; a performance in sound, light and language from Tim Moriarty of the Yanyuwa people of the Gulf of Carpentaria and Cynthia-Louise Dellit with Baroque flute, at the Odeon Theatre. (Sunday 12 June, 2.30pm. Tickets $19-$59 +BF).
Dhāraṇī: Tom Vincent Octet develops a darker and larger ensemble to perform new extended jazz compositions, unifying ancient and contemporary music forms at Moonah Arts Centre. (Tuesday 14 June + Wednesday 15 June, 7.30pm, $59 +BF).
Dark Mofo Films takes residence in Hobart’s sandstone State Cinema, so brace yourself for a helter-skelter cinematic selection as our curators Nick Batzias and James Hewison skulk back into town with a swag of unsettling content for your viewing displeasure.
From nightmares of visceral genre to devastating visions of Europe’s refugee crisis, this year’s Dark Mofo Films program surveys our most primal, profane fears. Highlights include the Australian premieres of Tassie filmmaker Sean Byrne’s creepy The Devil’s Candy and English director Jim Hosking’s The Greasy Strangler, already described as an “oasis of filth” (not Shakespeare). (Session times and tickets online late April).
‘Mona’s midwinter festival is a maelstrom of cultural pandemonium, enticing an annual pilgrimage to the southern island of Australia to celebrate the night through large-scale public art, food, film, music, light and noise.’
+ DARK MOFO SECOND WEEK +
Wednesday 15 June – Tuesday 21 June
[Musicians waiting. Enter Servingmen, with napkins]
The City of Hobart Dark Mofo Winter Feast serves a communal banquet, this year with a focus on flame-grilled street food and festivity across Princes Wharf Shed No.1 (PW1), Castray Esplanade and Salamanca Lawns. Look for the hellfire at the gates and take a seat at Hades’ table. “More light, you knaves; and turn the tables up, and quench the fire, the room is grown too hot” – Lord Capulet.
(Wednesday 15 June – Sunday 19 June, 4pm – 10pm). (Tickets $10 nightly from Wednesday 15 – Friday 17 June; $20 Saturday 18 June; free entry Sunday night. Season pass $50 +BF).
The ogoh-ogohs are back. “One fire burns out another’s burning, one pain is lessen’d by another’s anguish” – Benvolio. Participate in the communal Purging of fears throughout the festival: write your fears down on paper and sacrifice them to a giant demon at the Winter Feast. It’s a family-friendly ritual building up to a procession across the docks to Dark Park, and the Burning on the solstice night. (The Purging: Wednesday 15 – Saturday 18 June, free. The Burning: Sunday 19 June, 5pm, Winter Feast PW1/Dark Park, Macquarie Point, free).
Hymns to the Dead is the darkest music we could find. Wear black, bring earplugs, witness Cult of Fire’s esoteric death metal from Prague, Swedish prog-black metal Tribulation, blasphemous Greek death metal Dead Congregation and Melbourne’s utter doom lords Inverloch, all shaking the stage and possibly some plaster off the ceiling, at the Odeon Theatre. (Wednesday 15 June, 7.30pm, $49 +BF. 18+).
Itchy-O is a Denver-based avant-garde marching band with LED-lit sombreros who will make surprise ruckus at different venues. You’ll hear them coming.
The Funeral Party will be one to memorialise for life. It’s Dark Mofo’s debauched gothic gala costume ball in the sanctity of that glorious parlour, Turnbull Family Funerals. “Partying is such sweet sorrow” – Mona.
(Thursday 16 June, 8pm, tickets $89 +BF by ballot – register online).
Chelsea Wolfe, kohl-rimmed American electronic sorceress, takes to the stage in her only Australian show at the Odeon Theatre, joined by interdisciplinary chanteuse Jarboe of Swans and Neurosis, and Brooklyn experimental composer JG Thirlwell presenting Cholera Nocebo. (Friday 17 June, 7.30pm, $49 +BF. 18+).
Savages (UK) bring their rocking lust for life to the Odeon Theatre. (Saturday 18 June, 7.30pm, $49 +BF. 18+).
Symphony No. 3, Henryk Górecki’s melancholic meditation, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, will be performed at Federation Concert Hall by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Featuring soloist Greta Bradman and conductor Otto Tausk, Chief Conductor of Theatre St Gallen (Switzerland) and regular guest at Concertgebouw Orchestra (Amsterdam). (Saturday 18 June, 7.30pm, $69-$99 +BF).
Rivers and Streams is a hypnotic incantation from Lubomyr Melnyk, the Ukranian maestro of continuous piano. Witness the fastest concert pianist in the world, in his only Australian show, at the Federation Concert Hall. (Sunday 19 June, 2.30pm, $59 +BF).
Solstice night: The longest night of the year in the southernmost city of Australia. The Heart of Darkness soars with soprano and strings to Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 2, Op. 10, Tavener’s Akhmatova Songs for Soprano and Cello, and Sculthorpe’s String Quartet No. 12 (From Ubirr, sans didgeridoo), with soloist Allison Bell at St. David’s Cathedral. “Come, gentle night, come, loving, black-browed night” – Juliet. (Monday 20 June, 8.30pm, $39 +BF).
The Nude Solstice Swim returns after the longest night of the year on Tuesday 21 June at 7.42am at Long Beach, Sandy Bay. The Solstice Swim is a contemporary ritual enacted as the sun rises, to welcome back the light. People shed their inhibitions with their clothes and brace themselves for a new year. It’s not a spectator sport – it’s a rite of passage, and a lot of fun. “O heavy lightness! Serious vanity!” – Romeo. (Free; register online).
Ongoing from first week:
- Dark Park at Macquarie Point;Mike Parr’s Asylum at Willow Court;
- Cameron Robbins’ Field Lines at Mona;
- Tempest at Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery;
- Black Box at MAC2 Backspace;
- Exhibitions around the city;
- Blacklist at the Hobart City Hall.
“Dark Mofo has taken Tasmania by storm. The cultural tempest captivates with the promise of the unimaginable and the delivery of the unexpected. Dark Mofo transforms our darkest days into a cultural beacon, drawing tens of thousands of locals and visitors to our state. Once again, the Government is proud to partner with Mona to deliver Dark Mofo, a highlight on our cultural calendar.”
– Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman
Watch the Dark Mofo 2016 lineup announcement:
“After much begging, fossicking and creative misdirection from Leigh Carmichael, Dark Mofo’s boss, the government and Mona both came to the party. I bet Leigh’s feeling the pressure.”
Mona founder David Walsh
Read The Garb Wire’s Q+A with Dark Mofo Creative Director Leigh Carmichael here, and watch the highlights from 2015. There is nothing to worry about, Walshy, good GOD.
Dark Mofo June 10-21, 2016, Hobart
Dark Mofo is a project of the Museum of Old and New Art, supported by the Tasmanian Government through Events Tasmania, and the City of Hobart.
- Twitter @dark_mofo
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- Facebook @darkmofofestival
- YouTube @monamuseum
- #darkmofo #discovertasmania
All Dark Mofo program related copy is sourced from Mona.
All Images Courtesy of Mona (Museum of Old and New Art). Photo credits from top:
- Dark Mofo. Photo credit: MONA/Rémi Chauvin
- ZHU. Image courtesy of the artist and Dark Mofo 2016
- Night Garden. Image courtesy of the artist and Dark Mofo 2016
- Blacklist performer: Simone Page Jones. Photo credit: Mona/Vanessa Ritchie Image Courtesy of Dark Mofo
- The Cloud. 2016 Patrick Hall Photo credit: Allison Hall Image courtesy of Patrick Hall and Dark Mofo 2016
- Dark Mofo Winter Feast 2015. Photo credit: MONA/Rémi Chauvin
- [Tempest] Rosemary Laing, Weather #4. Image courtesy Rosemary Laing, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and Dark Mofo 2016