Gallery & Highlights :: DARK MOFO 2015
July 1st 2015
Only in its third year, the fast growing Tasmanian festival DARK MOFO has seen incredible success this winter. The icy sister to MONA FOMA, the festival sees innovative attractions take over Hobart – from the winter feast to the industrial dark park with art installations, secret rituals and experimental music. It’s truly a great excuse to jump on a plane (with a warm coat or three) and head to Tassie.
We checked out the second weekend and became immersed in what is a truly magical experience. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, these photos will sure give you the DARK MOFO FOMO.
Highlights from Dark Mofo below – all photos by Yael Yaya Stempler.
Five nights dedicated to celebrating some of Hobart’s finest food makers. Taking place at Hobart’s dockside Princes Wharf, spreading outside onto Salamanca Lawns and inside a wooden Hothouse – despite the fact it was 4 degrees outside! The cosy open fire, music and performance alongside some mulled wine let the cold be quickly forgotten.
Dark Park is a new addition to this year’s the festival program, stretching across Hobart’s industrial harbour-side Macquarie Point. It heralded some spectacular installations, such as the massive high-octane Fire Organ structure of old steel tubing, with drones and hums at low frequencies beneath harmonically tuned flame-throwers blasting fire into the sky, made by Dutch chemo-acoustic engineer Bastiaan Maris with Melbourne-based producer Duckpond.
Demon purging ogoh-ogoh, crafted by Tasmanian students and Indonesian artists, invited the visitors to write down their deepest, darkest fears and secrets. On the solstice night, a parade made its way from Dark Park towards the Feast for a ritualistic burning of the community’s collective fears.
American avant-garde artist Anthony McCall took over two large, haze-filled warehouses with his installations of light and fire works.
Hendricks’s Gin Parlour of Curiosities was another highlight: surrounded by a structured dark forest with a bizarre 50’s style cocktail bar, and a secret circus tent that you could only enter with a spoon, if one was granted to you from someone leaving the tent. Hooo and did we mention the gin?! There was gin, too. Lots of it!
Another new concept added this year was the late-night Blacklist. Location and details were all kept hush hush, with the only information given on the the website reading: “safe word is bananas”, “be respectful to small adults” and “acknowledge the power of magic”.
And so, the mystery was unveiled only when it was time to party! To our sweet surprise we saw a solid performance from Melbourne based Ecca Vandal, who played the Thursday night alongside other sacrificial installation and performance into the wee hours.
If in Hobart, you can’t really ignore the landmarks – and the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is undeniably one of the highlights. Only a short ferry or drive from the city centre to the underground museum (yes, literally under the ground), MONA is located within the Moorilla winery (yes, more wine). Funded by David Walsh, who resides in the museum and deserves a mention for many reasons… one of them being his parking spot next to the museum entrance that says “Reserved for God” next to anther spot “Reserved for God’s Mistress”.
In addition to his pleasantly strange private collection for this year’s DARK MOFO, the festival coincided with the opening of MONA’s major exhibition, curated by Nicole Durling and Olivier Varenne: Private Archaeology by Marina Abramović who blessed the opening night with her presence.
Photos by Yael Stempler, all rights reserved. Not for republication.
The music program was impressively diverse, catering to music lovers of all genres, sounds and shapes. From Sydney rock n roll darlings The Preatures to American doom metal band Pallbearer and electro-conducting Japanoise-maker Yamantaka Eye with his Circum project – conducting musicians on six laptops while making ambiguous sounds. These were only a few of the highlights the lineup had to offer.
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