Mona Foma 2020
Curated by Brian Ritchie of the Violent Femmes, the Museum of Old and New Art’s annual summer festival will call the Launceston suburb of Inveresk home this year. At the festival hub, Japanese neo-kawaii punks CHAI, masked cowboy crooner Orville Peck and intergalactic party shaman Flying Lotus are among the international artists coming together to summon the party.
Forty years after they formed, Slovenia’s industrial kitsch pioneers Laibach will perform their take on The Sound of Music, while cabaret queen Amanda Palmer will transform confessions from the women of Launceston into a bruising new show, There Will Be No Intermission: An Evening of Piano, Pain and Laughter.
On stage at Launceston's Princess Theatre, Australia's favourite troubadour Paul Kelly will open his songbook and share songs, stories and poetry in Thirteen Ways to Look at Birds alongside collaborators James Ledger, Alice Keath and the Seraphim Trio. The famed composer Ludovico Einaudi – known for a style and scope that compelled him to play a grand piano floating among icebergs in the Arctic – invites you to immerse yourself in Seven Days Walking, a new project inspired by a winter walk through the Alps.
A coming together and celebration of traditional food, art and architecture, kipli paywuta lumi, meaning “food to sustain us” or “food across time”, takes its name from the Tasmanian Aboriginal language of palawa kani. From the festival hub in Inveresk, a bus will take you from the city for a twilight celebration in the bush. A menu featuring traditional palawa ingredients sourced from around the island will be served inside a specially designed, contemporary lina (a palawa bush hut dwelling).
Mona curators Emma Pike and Pippa Mott are transforming Elphin Sports Centre, a wonderfully retro Tasmanian oak hall, into “The Centre”. Here, screenings of video works by international artists and choreographic performances about the community will take place within a suburban maze positively drenched in PE class nostalgia.
Midnight Oil's Jim Moginie soundtracks Daedalum Luminarium, a large-scale inflatable sculpture consisting of 19 interconnected domes. Created by UK studio Architects of Air, the immersive experience transforms Royal Park into an illuminated interpretation of the Roman Pantheon.
It wouldn't be Mona Foma without a dedicated night of after-hours revelry. The debaucherous nightclub Faux Mo commences at 9pm with the theme of “Working 9 to 5”, and you're encouraged to stay on the clock all night long. Although the line-up remains under lock and key until 26 November, tickets for the party always sell out, so it's best to book one now if an all-night affair – with a light “breakfast” served at 4am – sounds like your kind of work day.
Mona Foma’s core weekend runs from Friday January 17 to Sunday January 19 in Launceston, Tasmania.