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The piper at the Gates of Dawn. And MONA.
Been to MONA several times? Think you’ve ‘been there, done that’? Think again.
David Walsh said, “I want MONA to be a deliverer of the alternate idea.” Well, he got that right. And much more besides.
This is for those locals who haven’t seen the new exhibition yet, and the tourists who – well, just have other plans.
And while the exhibitions and the permanent fixtures are all visual cues to Walsh and his piercing intelligence, his innate curiosity, this latest, On the Origin of Art is unmissable.
I’ll have no sympathy for anyone who misses this. You are warned!
The exhibition is a brain tease, a visual feast, and a challenge all at once. So don’t go and expect to float past some nice pictures. MONA will never give you that.
And do listen to the monologues of the four scientist-curators. They are fascinating, and expand on their choices and the theme, each in his/her own idiosyncratic way.
Some of the art is enormous, beautiful in colour and design. Other pieces are small and intricate, but no less fascinating.
But what puzzles me the most, is how on earth those four exhibitions are all entered via four doors set close together at the end of the lower ground floor? Each doorway takes one into a cavernous array of rooms that host the scientists’ choices.
How is that? And what am I doing, wondering at such a plebian puzzle when there is a surfeit of richness and discourse waiting to stretch my poor small brain?
Are the big questions, the hows and whys of art answered? I’m not sure, but we muse on all the intent as we enjoy some welcome snacks in the museum café. We sit outside, enjoying the sun and the view, first blinking like mole as he surfaced to find his new friend, Ratty, on the riverbank.
And there I find another childhood favourite, The Wind in the Willows, spins to the surface as I clumsily find a connection with what I’ve just devoured. The chapter, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn comes close to describing a feeling of awe, and other-worldliness that shivered down my spine as I wandered through the exhibition.
For me, that is MONA. And Walsh is the piper. And I feel so lucky to be here, in Tasmania, at this time, in this moment.
Get there fast, before it moves on. (And during this time, you have to book ahead to get in – numbers are limited).
Enjoy the below gallery to whet your appetite.
What’s your take on the exhibition? Does it answer any questions, or simply throws up more? Do you know? I don’t.
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