Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Remind me never to visit this place

... in the unlikely event that I ever travel to Hobart, Tasmania. It's the (privately owned) Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), and it sounds like a barrel of fun:

Featured on the opposite wall is a display of human ashes (into which anyone can have themselves incinerated and mixed if they so wish). The first painting is Le Grand Macabre – three dark threatening dancing figures, a welcome to the underworld. From then on, it is one relentless splattering of sex, death, decay and defecation relieved only by the usual atheistic assaults on anything hinting of the religious, contemplative or spiritual.
Among the highlights are paeans to defecation. Cloaca is a machine that simulates all functions of the human digestive system, including producing excrement. Locus Focus is a toilet with cleverly arranged mirrors for viewing everything that happens there. [...]
MONA is not so much an art museum as a tentative answer to the question: Where does art go, bereft of ideality? It tends towards what is left, the bare fact of materiality, brutal, ephemeral, uninhibited: art as solipsistic manipulation of whatever decays and rots and orgasms and screams and stinks and dies.
Atheism leads to death and nothingness, because atheism is death and nothingness. In artistic terms, by its own logic, an atheistic worldview will end up dispensing with any ideality in art and will simply proclaim an art of what remains – life as decay, depredation, animal chaos and death.
Article by Steven Jacks, MercatorNet.

I'm so glad that places like this exist, where you can learn about what Art really is and what it does, and even how to do it. Living Water College of the Arts (and located in the province right next door to me!)

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