The line-up for Dark Mofo 2017 has just crawled out of its lair. Post rock titans Mogwai headline alongside progressive Norwegian metal act Ulver. Californian art punks Xiu Xiu will perform Angelo Badalamenti’s iconic score for Twin Peaksand Melbourne artist Mike Parr returns for the second year after his confronting work Asylum divided audiences in 2016. His work has previously led one Broadsheet staffer to a complete blackout. Check out some of program highlights below, followed by the full line-up.
150.Action – Hermann Nitsch (Austria)
Dark Mofo has never shied away from the gruesome. Hermann Nitsch founded the Orgien Mysterien Theater (which roughly translates as “Theatre of Orgies and Mysteries”) in 1966. His performances, which he calls Aktions, involve sacrificial imagery, gore, nudity and are deeply confronting. Aktion 122 (2005) saw a man crucified in front of a flayed bull carcass, while a group of naked men repeatedly stabbed him with metres-long wooden spears. His 150.Action planned for Dark Mofo apparently involves 500 litres of blood. Not for the faint hearted.
Performance: Saturday June 17, 12pm–3pm, Dark Park, free. Installation: Saturday June 17 and Sunday June 18, 5pm–10pm, Dark Park, free.
Einstürzende Neubauten (Germany)
The German industrial noise pioneers diverse output can take many forms. While the band has been known to layer screeching power tools over the driving motorik rhythms of their krautrock forebears Can, it’s equally capable of delicate lullabies. An Australian connection also exists within the band. Founding member Blixa Bargeld was a member of the Birthday Party, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds for two decades. Acts like Nine Inch Nails, or heavier techno acts that play Berlin club Berghain, simply wouldn’t exist without them.
Friday June 16 and Saturday June 17, 7.30pm, Odeon Theatre, $69 plus booking fee.
Borderlands – Alessandro Cortini (Italy) + Klara Lewis (Sweden) + Grouper (USA) + Lawrence English
This year, Mofo’s wild Blacklist after-parties have been replaced by Red Bull Music Academy: Transliminal which will see the Hobart City Hall transformed into a pulsating techno-focused nightclub with lighting designed by experimental laser technician Robin Fox. Night owls who don’t fancy the club should head to Borderlands where they can curl up in a bean bag and be soothed by minimal synth scapes and pastoral folk murmurings.
Luke Howard + Tilman Robinson
Australian Luke Howard’s contemporary classical compositions feature piano and violin with subtle electronic texturing. His work can be delicate and nimble or thick and luxuriant. He will be joined by countryman Tilman Robinson, whose electro-acoustic collage work draws meditative connections between technology and nature. Hobart’s Federation Concert Hall is a stunning venue to experience classical music; it’s rich acoustics truly envelope each audience member.
Thursday June 15, 9pm, Federation Concert Hall, $39 plus booking fee.
Dark Mofo isn’t only about the music. Be sure to diversify your experiences. Lucy Guerin’s visually rich dance work debuted at the Melbourne Festival in 2016. Exquisite lace and brocade costumes by Benjamin Hancock and Harriet Oxley shroud the dancers on stage as they undergo a wrenching metamorphosis from constriction to freedom. However, with freedom comes exposure, vulnerability and fragility. The melodrama delivered by acclaimed contemporary performers Hancock and Stephanie Lake on stage unfurls under austere black and white light to devastating effect.
Saturday June 17, 1pm and 8pm, Theatre Royal, $39–$59 plus booking fee.
Tickets go on sale for Dark Mofo 2017, which runs from June 8 to 21, at 10am Tuesday April 11.
DARK MOFO 2017 FULL LINEUP
Ulver + TSO: Messe IX-VI.X* (Norway/Tasmania)
Chris Levine* (GBR)
Hermann Nitsch* (Austria)
Sound of Silence: Alfredo Jaar* (USA/Chile)
Dark Mofo and City of Hobart Winter Feast
Siren Song: Byron J Scullin + Supple Fox
Red Bull Music Academy: Transliminal
+ Unconscious Collective
+ Danielle Picciotto + Alexander Hacke
+ Miles Brown
+ Paul Kelly
+ Camille O’Sullivan (Ireland/UK)
+ Feargal Murray (Scotland/UK)
Hymns to the Dead
+ Taake (Norway)
+ Anaal Nathrakh* (UK)
+ Barshasketh (UK)
+ Grave Miasma (New Zealand/Scotland)
+ Mournful Congregation
+ Victorian Opera + TSO
The Museum of Everything
+ The Purging
+ The Burning
+ Alessandro Cortini (Italy)
+ Klara Lewis (Sweden)
+ Grouper (USA)
+ Lawrence English
Xiu Xiu plays the Music of Twin Peaks (USA)
The Second Woman: Nat Randall
The Dark Chorus: Lucy Guerin Inc
Luke Howard + Tilman Robinson
Dark Mofo Films
Silence: Strings of the TSO
Nude Solstice Swim