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Dark Mofo 2017 highlights

What to expect from the annual festival celebrating the dark through large-scale public art, food, film, music, light and noise.

By Jessica WIlkinson
Published: April 10, 2017

Over two intoxicating weeks, Dark Mofo delves into centuries-old winter solstice rituals, exploring the links between darkness and light, birth, death and renewal. The festival is a project of MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in Hobart as a celebration of winter, excelling in its ability to transform the chill of Tasmanian midwinter into a carnival as awry and unique as it is famous. Skewing strange and left of centre, visitors will find offbeat theatre productions alongside retrospectives of classic films, light shows and late openings of the lauded local museum, MONA. Drawing visitors in for the 2017 program is the stalwart Winter Feast – the annual pilgrimage for culinary crusaders, and the communal ritual of the nude solstice swim. New to the schedule are artists performing at Dark Park; Chris Levine and Marco Perry, and Hermann Nitsch as well as The Museum of Everything – a new exhibition at MONA. 


Winter Feast

Winter Feast, Dark Mofo, Hobart, Tasmania

A mainstay of the Dark Mofo schedule, Winter Feast is a delectable midwinter banquet of fire, food, wine and festivity. Taking the medieval heathen harvest and giving it a modern twist, the feast gives the community a reason to get together around the table to celebrate as the longest night of the year approaches in Australia’s southernmost city.

When:  9–11 June, 15–18 June
Tickets: Door sales $10 - 20. Season Pass $50 + booking fee. Free for under 16s and after 8pm


Nude Solstice Swim

Nude Solstice Swim, Dark Mofo, Hobart, Tasmania

Commitment to the cause in the true sense of the saying, the Nude Solstice Swim is for the brave of heart - keeping in mind the swim takes place in the depths of winter. In the communal ritual, those involved have to shed their clothes (and inhibitions) and dive into the icy Derwent river to welcome back the sun after the longest night of the year.

When: 21 June
Tickets: Free with registration


Dark Park

Dark Mofo, Hobart, Tasmania

Dark Park is Dark Mofo’s large-scale public art playground at Macquarie Point on Hobart’s docks. It’s a place that forces vistors to re-evaluate their comfort zones by submerging them into an unsettling realm of works by international artists including immersive and interactive installations; some silent, some riotous.
When: 9–11 June, 15–18 June
Tickets: Free

2017 highlights:

iy_project 136.1 Hz - Chris Levine and Marco Perry (UK)
Canadian-born, UK-based laser art pioneer Chris Levine brings his spectacular iy_project 136.1 Hz to Hobart for an Australian exclusive, with Bjork-collaborating spatial sound designer Marco Perry, produced by CPS (House of Mirrors).
When: 9–11 June, 15– 17 June

150.Action - Hermann Nitsch (Austria)
In true Dark Mofo fashion, this sacrificial, animalistic ritual is set to shock (not for children or those opposed to the sight of blood). This performative ceremony strips communion back to its ritualistic roots, putting some 500 litres of blood to artful use. Curated by Olivier Varenne and Michel Blancsube.
When: Performance: 17 June, Installation: 17 - 18 June



Burning of the Ogoh-Ogoh, Dark Mofo, Hobart, Tasmania

Last year the city’s fears were burned and charred inside the belly of a dragon. This year, the city will be feeding their fears to the big, bad wolf. The community will scrawl their private terrors upon the wolf-shaped Ogoh-ogoh, a demon-like sculpture common to Balinese Hinduism in order to watch them all burn in the burning of the wolf ceremony. 

When: The Purging 9 –11, 15–17 June | The Burning 18 June
Tickets: Free


Mona opens a new exhibition

MONA, Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania

A new major exhibition at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), The Museum of Everything opens during Dark Mofo and presents an assortment of artworks from the first and only wandering institution for the untrained, unintentional, undiscovered and unclassifiable artists of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.

When: 10 June 2017 - 2 April 2018
Tickets: $25-$28