hobart,-australia

View of “Theatre of the World,” 2012. Top: Max Ernst, L’imbécile (Imbecile), 1961. Bottom: Altar in the form of a bird-headed deity, Golan Heights, Syria, Chalcolithic, fourth millennium BC.

“Theatre of the World”

Mona - Museum of Old and New Art

View of “Theatre of the World,” 2012. Top: Max Ernst, L’imbécile (Imbecile), 1961. Bottom: Altar in the form of a bird-headed deity, Golan Heights, Syria, Chalcolithic, fourth millennium BC.

Alternately described as a Bond villain’s lair or a subversive Disneyland for adults, MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art, has been serving up an anachronist’s menu of dismembered culture since opening in 2011. The museum was founded in Hobart, the southernmost city in Australia, by the gambling millionaire David Walsh as a home for his collection of antiquities, artifacts, and contemporary art. Cut directly into a promontory on the Derwent River, the complex resembles a network of bunkers, a museum for the end of the world in every sense. “Theatre of the World,” MONA’s current show, features artworks from Walsh’s personal collection combined with ethnographic and historical objects from the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, an institution that Walsh haunted as a teenager when he was supposed to be attending Catholic Mass. The exhibition is curated by Jean-Hubert Martin in

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the November 2012 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.