Dark Mofo: Day 1
20th June 2018
Featuring: Dark [Other] Times, Soda Jerk, Lou Reed: Drones, & Hymns to the Dead
Dark Mofo, a celebration of all that is, cold, dark, brooding and controversial in the world is back once again. This is my first time attending though, so I have to say, I’m overwhelmed, but oh so happy immerse myself in all this craziness; be it art installations, performance art, films and live concerts.
A small gallery stuck in dilapidated alley that included some legitimately unsettling works. From the creativity of Glen Grant’s origami works with currency, to the impressionistically unnerving works of Louise Hearman, whose work with blacks, greys and human features will undoubtedly feature in my nightmares tonight. But most moving of all was the piece titled ‘Big Sleep’ by Patrick Pound. Featuring a myriad of old photographs of people sleeping, lying down, or deceased. The most impactful thing was that not all of these photos were labelled, so it is entirely up to the viewer to discern the states of the subjects and determine exactly how viewing possibly dead bodies affects them.
In this modern age, people are forever using and reusing images and media to make things their own. This is no different. ‘Terror Nullius’ is an audiovisual collage of Australian (and some New Zealand) film and audio that explores the place of Indigenous Australians, feminism, homosexuality and immigration in an evolving popular Australia. You haven’t chuckled until you’ve seen the Lord Humungus from Mad Max give John Howard’s 2001 Election speech deriding immigration. Or until you’ve seen Skippy lecture Sonny on feminism in a rambling torrent of superfluous adjectives and kangaroo clicks. Or even until you’ve seen Ian Thorpe take the place of The Babadook, where the climax of said movie turns into a ghostly rave. There is some really interesting stuff going on here.
Any time I hear Lou Reed I very unfortunately let my mind drift to the biggest of failures, LuLu (it’s been seven years already?!) but thankfully that had no place here. ‘Drones’ was an installation where a number of his guitars were set up with amps to create, as you maybe had guessed, a massive drone. There is a recommendation that you stay in the room for fifteen minutes and you would be wise to follow it. Letting your mind drift out of the absolute freezing room and into the ebb and flow of the music was actually quite liberating, much like going to a Sunn O))) concert I’d imagine.
This event is the pinnacle of darkness. Last year it included the likes of Taake and Anaal Nathrakh(!!), but this year it seeks to destroy every last bit of emotion and faith the crowd holds. Featuring Australian acts like the entropic Spire and abyssal Portal which are sure to impress and crush the spirits of the crowd in equal measure. Coupled with Polish masterminds, Batushka, purveyors of the catchiest hymns ever known to the children of Jesus and Satan alike. Capping off the roster for the night will be Canadians Numenorean and Blasphemy, two bands who couldn’t be further apart in appeal, but impress nonetheless. Check out our extensive gig review here.
Review – Dylonov Tomasivich