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Dark Mofo 2021 Program

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Mona’s winter festival Dark Mofo returns for its eighth iteration in 2021, illuminating the darkest Hobart nights with seven nights of art, music, feasting and community rituals. After last year’s festival cancellation due to COVID-19, organisers are committed to offering much of this year’s program to Dark Mofo’s dedicated audience for free. Dark Mofo 2021 presents artists […]

Mona’s winter festival Dark Mofo returns for its eighth iteration in 2021, illuminating the darkest Hobart nights with seven nights of art, music, feasting and community rituals.

After last year’s festival cancellation due to COVID-19, organisers are committed to offering much of this year’s program to Dark Mofo’s dedicated audience for free.

Dark Mofo 2021 presents artists from Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Kuwait, Russia, Sri Lanka, UK, and USA, along with a series of world premieres and Australian exclusives. Plus the return of Dark Mofo’s signature events — including the annual Winter Feast on Hobart’s waterfront, Ogoh-Ogoh Purging and The Burning, and the Nude Solstice Swim at sunrise after the longest night.

This festival will unveil the new DarkLab Bell Tower, positioned above the Cathedral at In The Hanging Garden. This is the first bell tower erected in Hobart in close to 100 years, and the 1800kg bell was salvaged from a demolished church in Chicago to travel to Tasmania.

The DarkLab Bell Tower has a bell designed to be swung through a full circle in the English tradition, joining St. David’s Cathedral and the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church as the only three bell towers in Tasmania to do so.

Creative Director Leigh Carmichael said: “The sub-theme for last year’s festival was Death. When the festival was killed by COVID in March, we were left disoriented, confused and with a sense of loss for a program that was stillborn. The subsequent isolation of lockdown caused further anguish.

“We, like the rest of the world, found ourselves in the midst of a long dark night. It seems that in moments of despair, when all else fails, we journey inward.

A journey that is sometimes referred to as The Dark Night of the Soul. The darkness representing the fact that the destination is unknowable. The only light along the path is that which burns in the soul.

“It is within this context that we present our 2021 festival, and pray it brings a glimmer of light in these uncertain times. We invite you to come to the cross.”

Art highlights: Pope Alice Close Encounters*, 404.zero (Russia)*, Tianzhuo Chen (China), Julie Rrap, Pictoplasma + Akinori Oishi (Germany/Japan), Monira Al Qadiri (Kuwait), Jonathan Schipper (USA), Jonathas de Andrade (Brazil), Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran (Sri Lanka/Australia), Paradise Lost at TMAG, CRONE at Mona.

Music highlights: Thurston Moore (USA)*, Circuit des Yeux (USA)*, The Dead C (NZ)*, Wobbly (USA)*, Om (USA)*, Jeremy Gara (Canada/Arcade Fire), Confidence Man, Lo!, Tangents, A. Swayze & The Ghosts, King Stingray, Misery, Black Cab, Slag Queens, The Amenta, Drug Cult, Grace Cummings, Chloe Alison Escott, Shoeb Ahmad, All Saints Compline Choir*, Gavin Bryars (UK)* with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

More: Mammalian Diving Reflex / Darren O’Donnell (Canada)*, Winter Feast, Ogoh-Ogoh Purging and The Burning, Nude Solstice Swim, Solstice fireworks, and some surprises. (*denotes Australian exclusives and world premieres).

Image by Ivan Volkov, courtesy 404.zero and Dark Mofo 2021.

Home State Reclamation Walk |

This event features Aunty Vicki-Laine Green, Mitchem Everett, Sheldon Thomas, Emma Robertson, Tayne Thomas, Jarrod Hughes, Trish Hodge, Luana Towney, Jason Thomas, Roy Thomas, Bronwyn Dillon, Linton Burgess, Danny Gardner, Jason Smith, Fiona Hughes, Craig Everett, AJ King, Caleb Nichols-Mansell, Fiona Hall

Walk with us. Follow fire and smoke to the place where the trees have taken root: a street through our town retaken by vegetation, as people gather for the festival’s opening night. The list of artists grows as individuals come forward to own the project.

+ Wednesday 16 June, 6pm, Meeting place: K&D Car Park, Murray Street, Free

ART

Memorial | Alex Podger (Australia)*
Memorial is a spectacular public ritual that invites Tasmanian residents to have the ashes of their loved ones placed into a handmade firework shell, to be launched above Hobart’s Derwent River. Memorial will create a powerful tribute to the beauty and complexity of life — one which exists for only seconds, painting a stunning willow in the sky before fading back into night — a stark contrast to gravestones and plaques that remain for centuries, slowly burdening future generations in the battle for space in growing cities. *World premiere.
+ Wednesday 16–Sunday 20 June, 6–8pm, Hobart waterfront.

Paradise Lost | TMAG
The first major exhibition about Thomas Griffiths Wainewright (1794–1847): the renowned London critic and suspected serial poisoner who was eventually convicted of forgery and sent to Hobart, sentenced to transportation for life. He is now regarded as one of Australia’s most accomplished colonial artists. Featuring works by Thomas Griffiths Wainewright, Henry Fuseli, William Blake, Archipelago Productions, Titian, Rembrandt, Correggio, Raphael, and Michelangelo. Warning: some artworks may be confronting and parental discretion is advised. Presented by Dark Mofo and Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

+ Wednesday 16 June–Tuesday 22 June, see website for opening hours. Continues until 3 October, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Free.

Pope Alice Close Encounters (Australia)*

For this year’s Dark Mofo, In The Hanging Garden’s Cathedral venue will be transformed into X-Cathedra; the festival home of our Patron Saint, Her Divine Holiness Pope Alice. Her timeless mission statement “Love Is The Key” becomes more relevant than ever. To restore cosmic order during the Winter Solstice, She is manifesting in Hobart on the edge of mysterious Antarctica. As Santa Alicia, Patron Saint of the Hanging Garden Cathedral, she’ll bestow gifts upon the faithful during ancient ritualism and outrageous ceremony. Warning: lasers and smoke. Curated by Theia Connell. *Australian exclusive.

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+ Wednesday 16 June, 7pm–10pm, Thursday 17–Sunday 20 June, 5pm–10pm, X-Cathedra, 112 Murray St, Free entry (subject to capacity).

spectra | Ryoji Ikeda (Japan)

Mona switches on Ryoji Ikeda’s monumental beacon with 49 xenon searchlights reaching to the sky and marking the winter solstice. spectra runs for the duration of the festival, but you can come visit when Mona is open: Friday 18–Monday 21 June, lights up from dusk (around 4.30pm). Food and drink at the wine bar and lawns until 6.30pm each night.
+ Wednesday 16–Tuesday 22 June, sunset to sunrise, Mona, Free.

The Tench | Pauline Curnier Jardin + Georgie Mattingley (Australia)*

Surreal dreams of incarceration, sex and surveillance in an old colonial jail. Two artists, two video works. Post-menopausal women celebrate their erotic power behind bars after killing the young men who scorned them. A retelling by Pauline Curnier Jardin of Jean Genet’s only film. Nearby, staff undergo training in a dystopian gated institution: a sinister-kitsch world of power, punishment and feeling, created by artist Georgie Mattingley after working in a high-security prison. Warning: sexually explicit and violent material. Curated by Theia Connell. *World premiere.

+ Wednesday 16–Sunday 20 June, 5–11pm, The Hobart Penitentiary, corner Brisbane and Campbell Streets, Free entry (subject to capacity).

CRONE | Sally Rees (Australia)

Sally Rees’ new exhibition at Mona, will surround you with a flock of ‘birds’—animated portraits that call to one another in the dark, their breath and sound given shape by puffs and clouds of hand-drawn colour. These ‘birds’ are also, in Rees’ vision, crones: portraits of ageing women from her life that she aspires to emulate. Curated by Nicole Durling. CRONE was commissioned by the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona), as part of Suspended Moment: The Katthy Cavaliere Fellowship, made possible with funds from the Estate of Katthy Cavaliere in partnership with Carriageworks and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA).

+ Friday 18 June–Monday 1 November, Museum of Old and New Art, Included in museum entry.

The Dust | Tianzhuo Chen (China)

An outlandish tale of death and rebirth, devoid of humankind. Artist Tianzhuo’s latest video vision sees farming tools and ceremonial relics take on new significance, set in a Tibetan village and celestial burial ground. Curated by Theia Connell.

+ Wednesday 16–Sunday 20 June, 5–11pm, Black Temple Gallery, 47 Davey Street, Free entry (subject to capacity).

Nightwalks With Teenagers, Amsterdam 2018. 
Image courtesy Mammalian Diving Reflex.

Nightwalks with Teenagers | Mammalian Diving Reflex / Darren O’Donnell (Canada)
Roam through Hobart’s nocturnal landscape with local teens as your guide. Grounded by the power of walking together, this is an unexpected, intergenerational tour of our town, where anything can happen.
+ Thursday 17–Sunday 20 June, 7–9.30pm, Hobart Central Car Park, Melville Street, $39 + booking fee / Door sales $45 (subject to capacity). Recommended ages 18+

Thence We Came Forth to Rebehold the Stars | Alex Podger with Gareth Brown and Stuart Bensley

Fire in the sky on the longest night. An experimental percussion score will be transposed from London into a pyrotechnic symphony here in Hobart, inspired by Dante’s Inferno and other concepts of chaos and crisis. A collaboration between pyro artist Alex Podger, London-based drummer Gareth Brown, audio producer Benjamin Yellowitz, and Stuart Bensley from Howard & Sons Fireworks.
+ Monday 21 June, 6pm, Hobart waterfront, Free.

DARK DOWNTOWN | AFTER-DARK ART PATH IN CENTRAL HOBART

The heart of the city beats loud after hours. Dark Mofo’s new after-hours art path snaking through central Hobart, with a variety of venues hosting art exhibitions, live performances, and intimate bars throughout Liverpool, Bathurst and Melville Street between Murray and Harrington streets. Bars, food, and music in the streets. Program details are below.

+ Wednesday 16–Sunday 20 June, various opening times between 5–11pm. Free.

Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran. Image Anna Kucera, courtesy the artist and Dark Mofo 2021.

MUSIC

Thurston Moore with Wobbly (USA)*
The post-punk legend lands in Hobart for a festival residency. Thurston Moore founded Sonic Youth in 1980, turning on an entire generation to the value of experimentation in rock n roll. He’s performing for Dark Mofo with long-time collaborator, experimental electronic music composer Wobbly (Jon Leidecker). *Australian exclusive.
+ Friday 18 June, 7pm (doors open 6pm), Odeon Theatre, $129 + booking fee / Door sales $135 (subject to capacity). 18+

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Thurston Moore (USA) with The Dead C (Aotearoa/New Zealand)*

Sonic Youth founder Thurston Moore is joined by legends of Aotearoa/New Zealand’s underground, the Dead C have been hailed by Thurston as one of the most interesting bands in the world. Formed in 1987, the Dead C (Michael Morley, Bruce Russell and Robbie Yeats) have continuously walked a tightrope stretched between rock and free improvisation. Their 30-year career has resulted in more than 30 albums on a bewildering array of independent labels across the globe. *Australian exclusive.

+ Wednesday 16 June, 8pm (doors 7pm), Odeon Theatre, $129 + booking fee / Door sales $135 (subject to capacity).

The Dead C (Aotearoa/New Zealand) with Lucas Abela (Australia)*
Legends of Aotearoa/New Zealand’s underground, The Dead C makes conventional instruments sound anything but conventional. Lucas Abela, who plays an amplified pane of glass like a bellow-less reed instrument. The glass does not always play nice. *Australian exclusive.

+ Saturday 19 June, 6.30pm (doors 6pm), Altar, 112 Murray Street, Free entry (subject to capacity).

Om (USA)*

Formed as a duo in 2003 by the rhythm section of the band Sleep, Om is a Heavy Eastern rhythm trio from the USA. *Australian exclusive.
+ Friday 18 June, 11pm (doors 10pm), Odeon Theatre, $99 + booking fee / Door sales $105 (subject to capacity).

Circuit des Yeux (USA)*

Chicago-based composer and vocal powerhouse Haley Fohr brings her meditative dark folk and octave-spanning melancholia to Hobart’s Federation Concert Hall. *Australian exclusive.

+ Saturday 19 June, 7pm (doors open 6pm), Federation Concert Hall, $49–$59 + booking fee / Door sales $55–$65 (subject to capacity).

Shoeb Ahmad, image by Krei Manzo. Courtesy the artist and Dark Mofo 2021

Circuit des Yeux: Music Box (USA)*

Haley Fohr plays and sings with music boxes (given to her over eighteen birthdays), having deconstructed and altered the melody turbines. A long-awaited project for the artist, featuring soft instrumentation and ambient sound. With guest support from sound artists Shoeb Ahmad and Alex Albrecht in an intimate setting. *Australian exclusive.

+ Thursday 17 June, 6.30pm (doors open 6pm), Altar, 112 Murray Street, Free entry (subject to capacity).

X-Cathedra | In The Hanging Garden

Late night party church is in session: In The Hanging Garden’s Cathedral transforms into hallowed ground for Dark Mofo with late-night DJs, live performances, and nightly blessings from the festival’s fabulous patron saint, Pope Alice. Warning: this venue hosts performances that feature loud noise, strobe lighting, lasers, and smoke.

+ Wednesday 16–Sunday 20 June, 11am–late, In The Hanging Garden, Free (DJs and 18+ after 10pm).

{{black:rainbow}} (Australia)

Ritual offering of smoke, noise, and liminal exploration… sacred to {{black:rainbow}} goddess of serene chaos. DJs upstairs.

+ Wednesday 16 June, 8pm, Altar + High Altar, 112 Murray Street, Free entry (subject to capacity).

Night Shift

You better work. Late night, double-level dance party. Electronic DJs, nocturnal artists, and things that go bump in the dark. Program to be announced soon.

+ Thursday 17–Sunday 20 June, 10pm–late, Altar + High Altar, 112 Murray Street, Door sales $20 per night (subject to capacity), 18+

Lo! Injured Ninja + Threats Drug Cult (Australia)
Lo!: Metal from Sydney. Groove-laden fury. They’ll perform their acclaimed album Vestigial in full. Injured Ninja: Noise rock from Perth. A traditional power trio of guitar rock and bass that is loud, abrasive, euphoric. Threats: Thrash punk from Hobart. Aggressive excellence. Regulars at the Brissie. Drug Cult: Doom from Mullimbimby. Majestic heaviness. Psychedelic haze.

+ Thursday 17 June, 8pm (doors open 7pm), Odeon Theatre, Free entry (subject to capacity).

 A Hut in Toyama: Viola Concerto | Gavin Bryars (UK) conducts the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra *
The world premiere of a new work by acclaimed English composer Gavin Bryars, written during the pandemic lockdown and featuring soloist Morgan Goff on viola. It’s inspired by the southern winter solstice and a twelfth-century Japanese book by Kamo-no-Chomei, about living in an isolated hut after earthquakes, storms and fires devastated Kyoto. )resented by Dark Mofo and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Commissioned by Dark Mofo for Morgan Goff. *World premiere.

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+ Thursday 17 June, 7pm (doors open 6pm), Federation Concert Hall, $49–$59 + booking fee / Door sales $55–$65 (subject to capacity).

Gavin Bryars conducts at the Tate Modern, 2019. Image courtesy Gavin Bryars and Dark Mofo 2021.

Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet | Gavin Bryars (UK) conducts the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra *
Fiftieth anniversary performance of composer Gavin Bryars’ orchestral lament, featuring pianist Andrea Keller. At its heart, an old homeless man sings ‘Jesus’ blood never failed me yet’; a refrain unearthed from discarded tape recordings made with people sleeping rough in London during 1971. Like words from a lost hymn, and a testimony to humanity’s optimistic spirit. *Australian exclusive.

+ Friday 18 June, 7pm (doors open 6pm), Federation Concert Hall, $49–$59 + booking fee / Door sales $55–$65 (subject to capacity).

Terminal Guitar | Marco Fusinato 
Mystic Eyes (Lisa MacKinney) + Bruce Russell (The Dead C) (NZ)
No composition, no limits, no mercy. The amplifier as instrument, the instrument as aerial. Any resemblance to actual music is, at best, fortuitous. Exclusive.
+ Friday 18 June, 6.30pm (doors open 6pm), Altar, 112 Murray Street, Free entry (subject to capacity).

Confidence Man + A. Swayze & The Ghosts + King Stingray (Australia)
Triple threat. Why wait until nightfall? Confidence Man: High-energy dance pop designed to make you lose your cool. Go ahead, feel yourself. A. Swayze & The Ghosts: Incendiary punk power. Charisma in spades. Grind, and grind hard. King Stingray: Indie rock, surf and funk. Legendary Yolngu heritage. Yirrnga Yunupingu and Roy Kellaway are the children of Yothu Yindi.

+ Saturday 19 June, 1pm (doors 12pm), Odeon Theatre, Free entry (subject to capacity).

The Amenta, image by Emanuel Rudnicki. Courtesy The Amenta and Dark Mofo 2021.

Screams from the Abyss

Hymns to the Dead beget Screams from the Abyss. Misery: An onslaught of death metal from the festering swamps of Queensland. The Amenta: Circuit-bent electronics, noise violin, and extreme home-made percussion. Harrowing, dissonant death metal, marking their return to the stage from a seven year slumber. Pod People: Big, dense doom and allegorical lyrics inspired by Dante’s journey through hell. Altar Defecation: Black metal heretics from the city of churches. Growth: Claustrophobic narratives of spiritual collapse, despair, and the fragility of hope.

+ Saturday 19 June, 8pm (doors open 7pm), Odeon Theatre, $59 + booking fee / Door sales $65 (subject to capacity).

Black Cab (Australia) + Jeremy Gara (Canada) Slag Queens (Australia)

Post-everything mavericks light up the Odeon. Jeremy Gara: Improvised noise and trancing visuals. Jeremy’s a member of Arcade Fire, but tonight he goes solo. Black Cab: Seventies and eighties-inspired Krautrock and driving electronica. Slag Queens: Champagne communists peddling off-kilter post-punk, dance bangers, and the odd power ballad.

+ Sunday 20 June, 9pm, Odeon Theatre, Free entry (subject to capacity).

Grace Cummings Chloe Alison Escott (Australia)
Grace Cummings weaves spacious folk from vocals, guitar and harmonica, harking back to the 1960s folk revival. Chloe Alison Escott usually fronts post-punk duo Native Cats, but tonight she brings it to the piano: life-on-the-line lyrics, and arresting songs of internal conflict and transformation.

+ Sunday 20 June, 7pm (doors open 6pm), Altar, 112 Murray Street, Free entry (subject to capacity).

Solstice Eve | Tangents, Wobbly (US), Sens DepMonica Brooks *
A sit-down feast of ambient, experimental soundscapes to prepare you for the solstice. Tangents: Drum-driven improvisation meets skittering electronic production and lush cello-and-piano tones. Wobbly: A human in the loop, improvising with machines that listen. Sens Dep: Textured noise and sonic ruminations. Monica Brooks: Hypnotic, rolling, improvised piano. *Australian exclusive.
+ Sunday 20 June, 7pm (doors open 6pm), Federation Concert Hall, $49–$59 + booking fee / Door sales $55–$65 (subject to capacity).

Towards a Great Silence | All Saints Compline Choir (Australia)
Durational, episodic performances of Gregorian chanting and choral music spanning the last six hundred years. The All Saints Compline Choir is a vocal ensemble which convenes to sing glorious music in its liturgical setting at All Saints Church in South Hobart under the expert leadership of Nick Caddick.
+ Monday 21 June, 10pm–Tuesday 22 June, 6am, Hobart City Hall, 57–63 Macquarie Street, Free (Visitors will be permitted entry at suitable times in the performance).

SIGNATURE EVENTS

Winter Feast

A solstice banquet, dedicated to cooking with fire and breaking bread. Now returning for its eighth year, the Winter Feast takes up residence at the Princes Wharf 1 precinct on Hobart’s historic waterfront, across five gastronomical nights. More information coming soon.

+ Wednesday 16–Sunday 20 June, Princes Wharf 1, Castray Esplanade, $10–$20 on the door (Free entry nightly after 9pm, and all evening Sunday, subject to capacity).

Ogoh-ogoh | The Purging
Purge your fears onto paper and commit them to the ogoh-ogoh: a gigantic green-lined ground beetle (a bit like a scarab, an ancient symbol of resurrection) leading us through a communal ritual of renewal.
+ Wednesday 16–Saturday 19 June, 5–10pm, Dark Downtown, Watchorn Street Car Park, Free.

Ogoh-ogoh | The Burning

We climbed, he first, I following his steps.

Till on our view the beautiful lights of heav’n

Dawn’d through a circular opening in the cave

And thence we came forth to rebehold the stars.

—Dante

Last rites: join us as we burn our beetle. And turn inward, reflecting on those fears we’ve sacrificed to the fire. Warning: smoke.

+ Sunday 20 June, 5–6pm, Regatta Grounds, McVilly Drive, Free.

Nude Solstice Swim

Swim into the light, after the longest night. This is not a spectator sport, so register online to participate in this annual communal ritual.
+ Tuesday 22 June, 7.42am, Long Beach, Sandy Bay, Free by registration.

Ogoh-Ogoh, parade to Dark Park for The Burning. Image Courtesy Dark Mof0.

Source: Tasmanian Times https://www.tasmaniantimes.com/2021/05/dark-mofo-2021-program/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dark-mofo-2021-program

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