Have you ever heard of MONA? Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart, Tasmania? If you are not living in Australia I would dare to say you probably haven't! (Please proof me wrong though!!). It is one of the most controversial and talked about museum projects here in Australia.
It is the playground of its founder David Walsh, a professional gambler, and is privatley owned. His own collection is on display - mixing old art (think eqyptian sarcophagus) and new art (think modern art installations) together in one amazing underground museum. He describes the museum as a 'subversive adult Disneyland'.
The museum has been built into the cliffs of the Moorilla estate (active winery) on the outskirts of Hobart, Tasmania. The architecture is absolutely breathtaking and one of the biggest drawcards of the museum - I loved it. It is all underground with meter high sandstone walls, mainly keep in dark with the best lighting concept I have ever seen (as a store designer I take notice of stuff like that - haha).
Wikipedia tells me that the museum houses over 400 artistic works owned by Walsh plus changing exhibitions with curated art from all over the world. There are some pretty confronting and shocking things on display, others plainly weird and rarely what I would call beautiful. But that is what makes the museum to what it is and the marketing team clearly knows how to use this as a sellingpoint.
I have been to the museum twice - once during our Tasmanian holiday back in January and now again during a brief business trip down to Hobart. Its a crazy place, but I do like it! Especially the wonderful cheese platter and wine from the estate afterwards in the Wine Bar. Best ever!
As it is quite dark throughout the museum, it is not that easy to take pictures - apologies!
 "Snake" by Sidney Nolan - first ever public display - it was huge!
 "Death Gallery" - only two people are allowed inside at the same time. Not going to tell more.
 "Cloaca Professional" by Wim Delvoye - a machine that turns food into... well, poo... mmh...
 Word wall made by water - displaying most popluar words from Australian newspapers
 A big head with crazy strobe lights inside
 Skull with bird in mouth and covered with colourful bugs
 Entrance to the x-rated section of the museum - some pretty freaky stuff
And some more shots I took during my visit 2 weeks ago.
 Buddha cast and Buddha made of real incense ash from China - its slowly falling apart! Love it!
 Installation by Anselm Kiefer in a pavillion connected via a long dark tunnel
 No idea what that is - art using ropes creating forms?
 A huge wall covered with LED screens visualising data by Ryoji Ikeda - so noisy!
 Dark rooms that are too dark to take pictures
 That is a possum skull covered in dead bugs with dead bees all around. Weid? Yes!
 Finally a piece of painted art - no idea who the artist is though!
It really is an artistic wonderland but I think many people actually dislike what they see. It is so different, confronting, real, powerful, disgusting, surprising at the same time that it is hard to take for many. I really dislike many of the installations / art pieces with all my heart and would never call them "art" but plain bulls*** - I have not included pictures of those pieces as didn't want to offend anybody. Some pretty hardcore stuff.
In case you ever come to Tasmania and Hobart (not that the chances are that high) you definitely have to visit MONA though. It is only $20 to get in, you can take a cool ferry from the harbour up the river to the museum (another $20 for the round-trip), have a good time exploring the museum - you will have stuff to talk about over the cheese platter afterwards for sure!!
Whats your favorite museum? Are you into modern art? *K