Dark Mofo Hobart Divine Comedy 2

HOBART: Dark Mofo’s Siloam – The end of the world and the giant iron arsehole

Boys in high-vis have been digging through bedrock. When once we had to turn around and walk where we had been, we can now circumnavigate MONA. An endless loop. No more getting stuck at the entrance to Pharos and Faro. 

Through the tunnels we find Confessional, by Oliver Beer. The Ammonoidea shaped construction of a noise dampened chamber, leading to the giant iron asshole flatulating ambience at MONA’s surface. Using a gramophone effect, patrons in the bowels of MONA can confess whatever they wish to be heard by whoever is near. 

One level above Confessional is Ai WeiWei’s White House. The fixing free construction coming together like a giant lego set to show the skeleton of a Qing Dynasty home. Absolutely gorgeous.

A hot red tunnel ascends from White House. Leading to your very own Virgil, your very own Beatrice. Ready to literally strap you into a harness to experience one of the circles of hell. Inferno for the everyman.

For the everyman. A blueprint of a good life; in allegory and analogy. Dante’s, Divine Comedy. Not talking down to the people, talking to the people. Guiding.

The Divine Comedy by Alfredo Jaar is the installation for the everyman. When words and science fail the everyman, when the everyman is failed by an ill-intended, overgrown system. Art could fill that void, to bluntly educate by “Look at this. Not good”.

The Divine Comedy is an emotive hand-hold through a not too distant future. An experience where you can literally feel the heat and pressure of an Inferno from above and hear the rushing of water beneath your feet. A mundane and maddening experience of time lost and wasted, devoid of vibrant freshness, Purgatoria. Finally Paradiso. An internal reflection that fills you with a sense of calm and connectedness through your own heartbeat. Forgetting what you have just seen, and felt. 

An everyman analogy that Virgil and Beatrice would be proud of.

The impending climate disasters. Floods, storms, fires. The overwhelming fear and pressure of that fact.

Frustration at our own impotence in helping and fixing. The maddening awareness that we are stuck and it is too late.

Finding our own beauty in what is around us. Numbing the painful, discordant aches in our hearts and heads. 

It is okay. The everyman knows. We all know. But Dis cannot be righted while the masters tell us “no”. 

A heavy heart. Siloam is beautiful and Alfredo Jaar’s work is also visually gorgeous. Just a heavy heart. 

Siloam is a permanent fixture at MONA. The Divine Comedy is a half hour experience, costing $20. Well worth the pennies.

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