Here come the philastines. 

Apology. My iPhone has died. I do everything on my iPhone. I drafted this post on my iPhone. Now I am reduced to using an old-school, stuck-in-one-place desk top computer. I am not sure if my video will work. And I do not know how to resize my photos. So sorry, if they come up too big. Or off-centre. But think of me: I may have lost all my photos from all my travels in the last year. OK. It is my fault to not have backed them up, nor anything on my iPhone. And I should have learnt after the iPad fiasco. But I am still on my journey to organised living. Anyway, if the video doesn’t work, Google word waterfall mona. Now on with the show.


Mr S and I are not generally appreciative of the visual arts, especially the modern type. But everyone says when in Hobart we must visit MONA (Museum of Old and Modern Art). So we did.

We bought “posh pit” tickets for the ferry ride to in Hobart. $50 each instead of $20 for “the sheep”. (Their words.) The ticket comes with nibbles and drinks. That’s what tempted me.

I was determined to get my money’s worth. Three glasses of bubbles on the 30 minute journey out, (and 15 minute predeparture time. I don’t want anyone to think I scoffed three glasses in 30 minutes.) Let’s just say a glass of house sparkling is $7. That’s $21. Not quite equal value yet. OK, if you go $9 for a branded variety we are pushing closer to the extra $30. And then there is a platter of cheese and ham to share. The waiter was watching my glass and quickly offered a top up. Really a total refill. He clearly picked me well because he offered the third. How could I say no?

Mr S read the provided local newspaper on the way out and sipped on two beers. “Come on,” I said. “Drink up!”

On the way back, I had one glass and Mr S two glasses of beer. The trip home came with four little desserts. Two chocolate cakey numbers, a golden gaytime  flavoured cheese cake and an orange cream tart. Yummy!

Yep, worth the extra dollars.

The trip out is interesting, passing by a massive zinc refinery and under the famed Tasman Bridge.

Oh yeah. We visited an art gallery. So let’s talk about art.

The MONA building is amazing. Externally the material and shape! Internally: the rabbit warren of underground space.

The art?

Well, I did laugh.

The first installation we saw inside the museum proper was amazing. More because of the technical skill but the idea was clever too. A waterfall of words.

Next the major exhibition, Gilbert and George, was of strikingly large montage, photo, painting things. By large, I mean ji-normous. Quite confronting in a humorous way. You may disagree and just see it as degenerate and depraved.

Here’s the two artists.

Several large naked self portraits of themselves in this style cover several walls.

They do like penises. Had quite a few works adorned with them.

And poo. Though I don’t think that’s original. South Park got in first with Mr Hanky, the Christmas poo.

Their rules sum up their art.

Don’t worry. It wasn’t all penises. Vaginas got a look in by other artists too. A wall of 150 plaster casts of innies and outies; and deforested and hairy (which reminded me of a conversation last book club’s Christmas party but maybe more on that in a future post).

My photos of the vagina casts didn’t come out because you aren’t allowed to use flash photography. I couldn’t help but wonder how you’d take a cast or mould of one with hair. Wouldn’t the hairs be ripped out when pulling the cast off?

I liked the fat car.

What made me really laugh was the room that had a large box, taller than the tallest person and filling the room, made of mdf. All the visitors traipsed around the box in the narrow space left at the edges of the room. I just had to laugh. What were we all looking at? We had no idea. Everyone looking suitably po-faced and terribly, consciously arty; all the other one-day art experts, like me.

I don’t think the attendant was happy with my laugh. But I promise, I didn’t make any disparaging remarks. Just laughed at the absurdity of the art and us paying to see a wall of blank particle board.

Anyway the attendant proclaimed rather testily, “There is someTHING else to look at. At the top of the stairs but only two at a time please.”

So obedient like, I climbed the stairs to look into the box. At a child’s bedroom. Mmm. Much preferred the empty box concept.

The greater joy I had was watching people leave the room filled with the box. All the looks of “let’s maintain a look that we are suitably impressed” quickly covering the “what was that”.

A wander around the outside, in between the rain showers, was needed. Love the steam punkish slash Victorian carriage. Actually it is cement mixer on a semi-trailer.

Mr S was really impressed with two real parked cars, most probably of the owner of the private gallery. Some fancy electric car that goes faster than a race car and costs hundreds of thousands or something.  Clearly I wasn’t impressed. So unimpressed I didn’t take a photo. Yes, they looked like cars. By what about their car spots?

And the loveliest sight? Mother duck and her very young and fluffy ducklings. Love how she keeps watch! And who can compete with baby animals?

Modern art. Where do you stand? Engaging, though-provoking, challenging, emotive, humorous, silly, pointless, deranged, depraved? Or some other adjective.


5 thoughts on “Here come the philastines. 

  1. I love modern art! It looks like the exhibits you visited were more playful than most of what I’ve seen, though! I had to laugh – I saw an exhibit of artifacts from Pompeii this year, and it also featured a lot of penis art. Some things don’t change.

    Good luck with your iPhone and photo recovery.

  2. Oh Lucinda this made me laugh. I’m with you. I feel like such a pleb but I have no idea and don’t usually truly appreciate many exhibits. Your description of looking “suitably impressed” sums it up beautifully for me. And the ducks would have won me over instantly.
    I’m an appreciator of exquisite music but not fine art. I rate singing voices by their ability to induce goose bumps on my head or arms. So why does a lot of art not move me? No idea.

  3. I love a lot of modern art, especially Picasso. But I have to admit I just end up shocked by a lot of what I’ve seen reproduced from MONA. I think a lot of it is great politics but not great art. I can see the political point behind those ‘buggery faith’ and ‘shit faith’ pictures. They shock me but don’t move me like a Picasso painting. There’s no way I’d pay to see a MDF Box! I can go to Bunnings to worship MDF. Maybe that is the whole ‘statement’ about the piece!

    I am so sorry about your iPhone and I hope someone can recover the data on it for you!

  4. I totally NEED to take the boys there. Our excursion to the local art gallery (not bad for a regional gallery) ened up with them doing a boobie v willie count (Many more breasts than penises – one penis was on a horse, and there was much debate as to whether that counted or we should only count human parts). I think they would be wildly amused by MONA.

    Lesson learned here re backing up pictures after a phone meet batter incident. Phones and batter do not get along. Although, most of the damage was done trying to clean the phone (memo to future self – wipe off the runny bits and leave it to dry. The technician retrieved *most* of the pictures though) New phone and new acquaintanceship with dropbox and regular back ups.

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