Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Museum Sure to Shock; Nicola Kerkenezov Discovers MONA Mania in Tasmania

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Museum Sure to Shock; Nicola Kerkenezov Discovers MONA Mania in Tasmania

Article excerpt

MY MUM and I sat on beanbags overlooking Hobart's River Derwent. We were at the Museum of Old and New Art a aka MONA.

Fortified by coffee, we were speechless about what we had just seen.

Museums are safe bets for motherly outings, but the MONA is not your usual museum. No matter if you have seen Paris's Louvre or New York's Met, it won't prepare you for our rising star of the museum world.

For starters, MONA is not government-owned and areas come with a content warning. It is the brainchild of Tasmanian gambler David Walsh. He has spent millions building the museum, which opened last year.

We had been told the best way to visit the MONA was to take a 30-minute ferry ride from downtown Hobart. The three-storey museum is built into a sandstone cliff, which greets you as you disembark from the ferry.

Straight away you notice this in not a stuffy museum. No labels on walls, instead you are given an iPod (The O) that lets you read about the art. It is so tricky it remembers what you have seen, senses what artwork you are near, gives David's Gonzo art explanations, and even lets you vote on whether you love or hate a work.

With our Os and map (M15 areas marked in red) we descend a glass spiral staircase to the bottom floor. It is dim, the cliff walls are exposed and we find a vaulting room with a bar and plush, vintage furniture a or is that an artwork? The fun has begun.

The woosh of a waterfall is heard nearby. Water is tumbling from up high in short intervals, spelling out a word each time. We have just encountered bit.fall by Julius Popp.

Further along is a huge church steeple that is pointy at both ends. It is twisted like a double helix and suspended from the ceiling. Around the corner are metal crowns of thorns by the same exhibiting artist, Wim Delvoye. Look closer and you see the branches are crucified Jesuses. …

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