i-D’s deep and freaky guide to dark mofo 2015
It’s Winter Solstice season and the witches are ready to party.
Gather round children, it's time for the darkest, deepest, most witching event of the year, Dark Mofo. Every winter the magicians behind the Museum of Old and New Art, MONA, disappear behind a black shroud, pulling any willing participants into an other worldly wonder of art, food, music, film, party delights and horrors.
Let i-D guide you through the darkness, with our picks of the festival's most supernatural and elevated occurrences. You don't need to light a candle and toss salt to join our party—but it sure won't hurt.
The White WItch
A universal force in her own right, Marina Abramović's presence at the festival alone is enough to ensure that fair will be foul and foul will be fair. The legend will be exhibiting a massive retrospective, Private Archaeology, with work from across her 40-year career. Spanning sound, photography, video, objects and installation all centered around the 'conducters' overarching fascination with "the art of the immaterial". Excavating the art superstar's life amongst the 'mofo' crowd is a performative social experiment in itself.
Marina Abramović will also be joining MONA founder, David Walsh, in conversation onstage to discuss her career and exhibit. Nothing is more terrifying than a powerful woman.
The Dark Witch
What is light without dark? Playing the role of this year's king of the shadows are Antony & the Johnsons accompanied by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Lead singer, Antony Hegarty, is not all talk when it comes to wiccan ways telling OUT magazine, "I'm a witch. I believe in the magic of this place, this world. Animate world is a magical one to me. It's a spiritual world for me." Antony & the Johnsons are appearing for two shows only, prepare to envoke the ticket priestess.
Venture Into The Deep Dark Wild
Tame the Tasmanian wilderness and gather your supplies on the 'Wild at Heart' two-night icey pilgrimage into the heart of the unknown. Curated by the Unconscious Collective the dark expedition into Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, promises obscure sights and natural wonders. The trip culminates in the opening of a new exhibition by contemporary artist Ash Keating and a wild-night-in at your hotel, complete with an outdoor spa and pop-up forest bar.
Prepare your strength
Australia's best chefs and stallholders have come together for the annual winter feast where diners must, 'Beware the birds and banquet for five nights inside a giant nest.' Darkness requires sustenance, gorge on Tasmania's finest food and drink till the midnight hour.
Join Your Coven
After visiting with the masters, and fortifying yourself, you'll be ready for Black List party, the festival's wildest series of very dark nights. Remember, anything is possible if you acknowledge the power of magic, stay wild and keep your mind and mouth open. Sacrifices are acceptable, as long as they're human. There are whispers of kidnappings, cloaks and kissing booths...dress for the end.
Performances over the festival will ensure that you're never far from a soundtrack that can provide you with the essential 'three dark Ds': DOOM: https://darkmofo.net.au/program/pallbearer-plus-the-body-plus-oake/
The only acceptable silence should fall after a scream.
Don't Forget the Majik
What's Dark Mofo without an unnatural spectacle or two? A seemingly endless selection of art and installations will keep you hypnotised from dusk till dawn. Make sure you check out Lucy Bleach's body reactive Radiant Heat for an organic and luminous treat:https://darkmofo.net.au/program/radiant-heat.
And bow down to the marvels of electricity via a thousand globes responding to movement with Jason James' Angry Electrons: https://darkmofo.net.au/program/angry-electrons/
Respect the Solstice
Fun is fun, and so is terror, but let us not forget why we're here—to worship the darkest creases of the night. Enjoy Monday's Winter Solstice, and stay up all night to make it to the early morning nude solstice swim a few hours later. After all, what could be more 'pure pagan' than ending a trip naked and cleansed?
Text Wendy Syfret and Courtney DeWitt
Photography Courtesy MONA/Dark Mofo and the Marina Abramović Archives.