Museum of Old and New Art (MONA)

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The Museum of Old and New Art, widely known as MONA, is one of the most unique and captivating cultural attractions not only in Tasmania but in all of Australia. Situated just outside Hobart, MONA has gained global recognition for its thought-provoking exhibits that challenge conventional notions of art and culture.

Founded by Tasmanian gambler and art collector David Walsh in 2011, MONA is Australia’s largest privately funded museum. It is housed in an impressive and somewhat labyrinthine structure that has been largely built into the sandstone cliffs along the Derwent River. This unusual architecture adds to the fascinating and eclectic atmosphere that pervades the entire museum.

The collection at MONA is as diverse as it is extensive. Ranging from ancient Egyptian artefacts to some of the most avant-garde contemporary art, the exhibits often blur the lines between the old and the new, the beautiful and the grotesque, and the profound and the provocative.

Perhaps one of the most distinguishing features of MONA is its non-traditional approach to displaying its collection. Instead of explanatory plaques, visitors are provided with ‘The O’, a location-aware device that offers curator’s notes, artist interviews, and interpretative information, which visitors can engage with at their own pace and according to their interests.

Among the myriad of works on display, some of the museum’s most notable installations include “Cloaca Professional,” a machine that replicates the human digestive system, and “Bit.fall,” a waterfall that forms words from live news updates.

In addition to its exhibits, MONA is home to the Moorilla winery and vineyard, the Source restaurant, and bars, a library, a cinema, and even luxury accommodation. It also hosts music and arts festivals like the winter solstice festival Dark Mofo, and the summer festival, MONA FOMA.

MONA is not just a museum; it’s an experience. Its boldness and audacity to challenge and confront make it a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Tasmania.

References:

  1. MONA – Museum of Old and New Art – https://mona.net.au/
  2. The O device – https://mona.net.au/museum/the-o
  3. Dark Mofo Festival – https://darkmofo.net.au/
  4. MONA FOMA Festival – https://mofo.net.au/
  5. The Source Restaurant – https://mona.net.au/food-and-drink/the-source
  6. Moorilla Winery – https://moorilla.com.au/
  7. MONA’s Luxury Accommodation – https://mona.net.au/stay

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