Dark Mofo: Day 3
22nd June, 2018
Featuring: A Journey to Freedom, Island Shrine, Panopticon II, Backwards from Winter & Night Mass
The first day without a specific music event! What ever am I going to do with my free time?! I did try to go see Charlemagne Palestine, but that was sold out. So I went to the opera instead. Panopticon II was scary, but hands down the scariest thing all day was a woman telling me I’m going to hell and giving me a business card for Jesus.
A more traditional event/installation than most, A Journey to Freedom consisted of a wonderfully curated experience exploring the theme of imprisonment, both physical, social and psychological. Installations ranged from an extensive audio visual interview compilation regarding being imprisoned in a Lebanese detention centre, accompanied by pictures of their defiant creations, to more abstract pieces consisting of a cabinet of ‘hooch’ made in bottles topped with condoms. It was an enlightening way to spend an afternoon, glimpsing the depths of injustice that humanity can perpetrate on its own and how others register that in their mind.
A dark room. A floor covered in rocks, ash and shells. A droning. A whisper. This is the setting for Island Shrine. The art piece is the entire experience, but the focal point is a number of screens showing a very slow monochrome rendition of waves. The droning is a staple at this point, but it gets to be pretty odd when the whispers start saying ‘paranoia’ among other things; I actually thought someone next to me was saying it until I moved next to a speaker. Not for everyone, but worth a look.
If this is what the creative arts students are doing Tasmania, the rest of the country is artistically impotent. Occupying an old theatre, each window has something new, be it looking into someone playing clarinet (which sounds pretty blasé) to a man in a full body suit attached to a bungee cord trying to lay hands on the glass in front of us. It all sounds a bit basic at first, but as you keep looking and thinking, you can’t help but wonder if this is all it is. One instance of man applying black warpaint is reflected and recorded but, it’s not synced and it makes me think it’s all a joke on us, hence the title. One of my favourite things so far.
I have never been to the opera and this sole performance makes me regret that so, so much. Eschewing a large arrangement for a minimalist approach of a cellist and some electronic elements, the voices of the two actors properly stole the show. Narrative wise, I couldn’t tell you what was going on, but it was beautiful nonetheless. There was one moment near the close of the performance where both performer’s voices rose and rose in unison. It was so brief, maybe three seconds, but it made my heart ache.
This’ll be a bit jarring coming off the back of that previous paragraph, but between that and Night Mass, I drank a lot. So let me just kind of give you a timeline of the night, through the time stamps I remember, and maybe the photos will be able to tell a more sober story.
11:27pm — I arrived at Night Mass. From the street entrance it’s quite daunting; swarming with people and pulsing with life. Massive light installations mark the entrance to alleyways that only hold more people and more surprises. I headed over to the Odeon as there was a large amount of people milling around, but nothing was on at that moment. Grabbed a drink upstairs, got some free oysters, moved on.
12:16am — I entered an alley surrounded by lights and scaffolding and very large plasma globes. Music was almost psytrance like, but not quite. Got another drink, danced in the mud, made some new friends.
12:45am — Walked into the Fun Bus, thought it would drive somewhere, but it was stationary and filled with jazz. I would love this any other time, but not tonight. Took my drink and headed into the nearest alley. It had fire pits placed along its graffitied length and a random bar halfway in the line for another bar, which is super cool. The best part about this event is being able to drink in the street. There’s something very rewarding about that.
1:59am — Back at the Odeon’s mezzanine bar. More free oysters. Electronic music downstairs. Danced for a bit.
3:29am — I check the time and look around. It’s absolutely packed, no room to move and the music is pretty rave like, so it’s good for dancing. I stumble out of the room and realise I’m in a cinema of all places, and the film playing is some sort of nature film about shrimp, no word of a lie.
4:51am — Arrived home.
Review – Dylonov Tomasivich