Friday, April 27, 2012

Mobart, Tasmania

You won't find Mobart on a traditional map of Tasmania. But this nickname rhymes with the name of the capital of the Australian island state of Tasmania: Hobart (founded in 1804 as a British penal colony). The name Mobart is a play on Hobart's current transformation from a quiet down-under town into a hip and sexy destination offering performing and provoking arts, including the nearby Wunderkammer complex called Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) [1-3].

“A decade ago, Tasmania had no pulse, but now young people are staying.” says Christine Scott, curator at Hobart's Henry Jones Art Hotel (page 39 in [1a]). The national parks and reserves of Tasmania have attracted outdoor adventurers for a long time. Bushwalking and wilderness challenges can now be complemented by museum walking and experience of offbeat culture—in town and on the banks of the Derwent River, where the MONA is located.

The man behind the MONA, millionaire David Walsh, calls his museum “a subversive adult Disneyland.“ (page 39 in [1a]). The emphasis is probably not as much on “Disneyland“ as it is on “adult.“ MONA offers after-hours naked tours through the maze of artworks to confront the depictions on a raised level of alert and excitement. However, don't get undressed yet. There is a waiting list!

Thinking history, say Hobart. Thinking museum, say Mobart. Thinking nudity, say Nobart

Keywords: Australia, museology, hipster renaissance, entertainment, curiosity.

Note:  The art world loves playing with words, spelling and writing. Not only down under, but in every city with suitable urban space,  MobArt, may pop up. MobArt is an art gallery with a twist; it's mobile as suggested by the name: The next MobArt show may happen in Hong Kong, [H,M,N]obart or in your town.

References and more to explore
[1] Tony Perrotet: (a): Tasmania's New Devil. Smithsonian Magazine May 2012, pp.36-48; (b) Nudity, Art, Sex and Death - Tasmania Awaits You:
[2] Drew Martin: Holy Shit Tasmania! April 21, 2012 [].
[3] Video tour: ArtBreak MONA,  Australia's largest privately owned gallery, breaking convention by exhibiting old and new art alongside each other rather than chronological order [].

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