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Published: February 17th 2018
MONA Roma 1
We woke up to rain lashing down driven by gale force winds and decidedly chilly. We decided to make a visit to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). To get there we had to go by boat but as it was up the Derwent River and by large catamaran we decided that it was a good plan. MONA is the brainchild of a multi-millionaire called David Walsh. A colourful character who made his money out of gambling (blackjack). It is an estate close to where he grew up, that houses a winery, brewery, restaurant, cafe and a museum that is on three levels, underground. The boat that took us to MONA was a military looking large catamaran called the "Mona Roma 1. We had booked tickets for the "Posh Pit" which was a special lounge with comfortable leather seats and served free wine and canapés. Could not see a lot out of the lounge as the rain was still lashing down but we had our wine and canapés so who cares. Our tickets included a wine tour with tasting at MONA. Our wine tour guide was very articulate and became more so as the tour
In the “Posh Pit”
progressed as the tasting measures she poured for herself were a lot larger than for everyone else. The vineyard is called Moorilla which is a low volume vineyard and employs a different technique by using three methods of fermentation, vat, barrel and air and then mixes the resultant wines for for best results. The wines we tasted were superb. We had lunch in an overcrowded cafe (nobody wanted to sit outside) and then toured the art exhibits. I am not someone that really understands modern and a lot of the exhibits were beyond me. I had some sympathy for the man overheard to say that "it was a load of crap". On that topic, one exhibit did peak my interest. It was entitled the defication machine but the staff had modified that to the "poo machine". This exhibit was designed to replicate the human digestive system. Unfortunately, the photograph I took did not come out so I will try to describe it. There were seven glass containers about twice as large as a rugby ball with the same shape suspended about four feet apart from a stainless steel gantry. Each container had about four plastic tubes attached that also were
Part of the winery tour.
connected into the gantry. At the end of the gantry were two, larger, corrugated plastic tribes feeding into a smaller, open, glass container To hold the poo. There was a distinct methane type smell in the room. The machine was due to be fed in about 10 minutes so we waited expectantly. At the appointed time, a young man in a white coat appeared and introduced himself and announced that he was now going to feed the machine. He had to first put a couple of tablets into the third "rugby ball" container explaining that it was an enzyme that occurs naturally in humans but has to be added to the machine. The meal that day was a chicken burger and muffin. The technician switched on a noisy grinding machine simulating human chewing. He then cut up the chicken burger and muffin and fed them into the "mouth" of the grinder and poured in some water. The "intestine" tubes shuddered and waggled on each "rugby ball" container and excitement mounted in the audience. After this was completed he switched off the grinder and thanked everybody for coming and were their any questions. Someone immediately asked where was the poo? The
One of the outside exhibits that I understood.
technician said that of course the digestive system takes 24 hours and suggested we all came back tomorrow. The C. O. and I felt a bit cheated, having suffered the smell for no reward.
All the exhibits are owned by David Walsh and are his own personal taste. You have to wonder. But he is a man who has enough money to indulge his whims and is prepared to share them whether you appreciate the beauty of them or not.
Returned on "MONA Roma 1" to Hobart with more wine and small cakes in the Posh Pit. Rain still lashing down.
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