We missed out in 2020, we were all too busy having our own dark moments courtesy of the Global COVID 19 Pandemic. Despite suffering our own setbacks, we despise nothing more than our ability to move freely and partake in whatever takes our fancy. DarkMofo is one of those festivals the population has an insatiable appetite for, especially in the middle of cold Tasmanian winter.
The first Dark Mofo was held in 2013, with MONA’S creator David Walsh. The festival celebrates the Winter Solstice and is based on themes of darkness, grief, death and facing fears. Mona and Dark Mofo has made Hobart a hot arts destination, but now has one of the most important contemporary cultural institutions in the world. David Walsh and his team have arguably achieved for Tasmania, what no other politician, investor or government could have ever dreamed of. Mind you the journey hasn’t been all beer and skittles either.
There was naked swimmers threatened with arrest, offended christians with the upside down crosses and visitors taken to hospital with seizures after viewing art with strobe lights loud music and smoke. Crazy, I hear you say and I haven’t even mentioned Michael Parr being buried under Hobart’s Macquarie Sreet as part of the Festival two years ago.
It’s a bit chaotic by design and Walsh, I think, likes the lack of structure, ability to break rules and push boundaries. I also think there is a population of followers who like that as much as he does. The local authorities while challenged at first, have chilled to the prospect of unusual requests that have become an integral part of establishing the city as a cultural icon and stream of revenue.
2020 and 2021 have been interesting years for everyone, the population is looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, hoping like hell that self imposed hibernation and or lockdowns are not a feature of this years event or non event.
Mike Briggs, Margate TAS. May 2021