There’s people bathing in bass, dogs with tilted heads staring into white light and middle-aged women stopping traffic taking photos with phones smarter than their location. Dark Mofo has hit Hobart.
What’s to love about this event? It brings Hobart out onto the footpath- people in their wintery masses- despite having no idea exactly what for. Did they expect to be blinded by Aesop’s scent- literally blinded by a room full of strong smelling whiteness? Did they plan to huddle round a flame-throwing organ? Had they intended to be kidnapped by a painted-faced villain requesting a password? It’s doubtful.
We hopped in an Audi taxi with one too many x’s on its roof, having no idea where it might take us. But we leapt in anyway because that’s what you do during Dark Mofo. He asked us where we wanted to go. We said we don’t know but how about to that great big beam of light. Then the strange bass began beating out of his sound system. Even his shoes were lit red by the Audi’s interior underbelly. Turns out he didn’t work for Mona, or for Audi, but flew planes locally. It was all a little Mona-bizarre but it didn’t matter. He dropped us to a venue we didn’t need to go to, but that didn’t matter either.
Back at Dark Park, Macquarie Point, long minutes were lost at Anthony McCall’s Solid Light Works. Watch children playing in his beams and you’ll be transported to your own childhood. See old men stare up with childlike fascination, lost in light shafts and know that art can fuse generations. We’re all transfixed.
At the Hot House ideas are noted on tiny white squares. People huddle in wooden domes. Laughter fills the air on a grassy patch normally void of life in winter - tonight a hive of thought bubbles and fire warmth. It’s a toasty treat to imagine the power of shared ideas – even if for now they are simply stuck to what looks like a tree trunk.
After all, it was the idea of one man, David Walsh, that MONA could be a Tasmanian reality. That same man wandered past us in the darkness tonight. He looked like everyone else in the crowd – amused at what he was seeing.
Just one of us. Thank you David.
Words and images: Alice Hansen
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