Tuesday, January 22, 2013

MONA Part 2...Faux Mo

Deep in the depths of Hobart's inner city (and by that I mean an alley behind a shopping centre) MONA FOMA hosted a street party called Faux Mo. The venue was a veritable labyrinth (complete with something like a Minotaur, see video) taking over Hobart's Grand Poobah and utilising every possible nook and cranny of the alley space for bars, food and dancing. Fire escape stairs were decorated and transformed into a DJ platform with a live performance art in between sets. The art then continued 'underground' through fire escape doors, down concrete steps onto the red carpet of an unused cinema. Performers graced the stage in the screening room and the foyer served as a dimly lit bar, with a Candy Bar that served a little something extra in your large soft drink.

The cinema itself has been closed, as evidenced from the Coming Soon posters in the foyer, since prior to Jumanji's release in the 90s. I asked my Mum about the space and she said there was originally a popular Chinese restaurant there. After its closure it became Cinema 1 and Mum recalled going there on her first date in the early 70s to see what she thought was Flash Gordon. It turned out to be a soft porn called Flesh Gordon, and not surprisingly they left after 5 minutes.

It was so exciting for me as a local to discover places I never knew existed. You can try and google this information, but it's simply not readily available, probably because it doesn't register as interesting enough for the world wide web.  It is interesting though and the places and the stories shouldn't be forgotten. Seeing everyday locations like a disused cinema gathering dust or an alley in the city centre transformed, not just into a party space, but also a site of performance and cultural happening is encouraging. When I was growing up the only thing to do when you were creative and ambitious was to leave Hobart for a larger city here or abroad. The creative energy that exists here now and the phenomenal work done by the organisers of the event shows that there is not only art and performance worth seeing here, but also that career opportunities and a chance to be recognised on an international scale do exist within our state

I have included a video I took on my phone (it's not HD quality, I'm sorry) of one of the performances from the night. There is a lot of screaming in the background because it was quite eerie and surreal to watch. It actually reminded me of the characters in Pan's Labyrinth, which I love and if you haven't see it, you need to NOW. The varied crowd reaction is quite hilarious and Kel thinks some of the screaming might actually have been her.

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