Monday, July 8, 2013

Reflections on Dark Mofo 2013

After visiting MONA on the weekend to see my friend Tony Brennan play a MoFolk gig in the Void Bar on the lower ground floor of the Museum (brilliant, Brian Ritchie) it struck me I'd written very little about Dark Mofo. What a fantastic debut winter festival. It has simply redefined this part of the year for Hobart - and has set SO many people talking about "what is possible". That one attribute is, in itself, of dramatic value in terms of our own city's self-deprecating internal discourse. As opposed to "omg - that project/idea/proposal is just stuck in red tape/can't get through {insert stultifying organisational acronym here} etc " Instead of the negative mantra, I've heard all over the place: "What if...? Could we...? Would this work...?" I absolutely cannot wait for the next Dark Mofo. How exciting, sweet antici........pation. Leaving with one of the most amazing installations I've been lucky enough to witness: Ryoji Ikeda's Spectra Light Tower. Quite astonishing. And our beautiful Hobart and Mt Wellington in the background

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tourism Tasmania campaign beats a new tune

Tasmania - Go Behind the Scenery Fantastic new campaign by Kath McCann and her team at Tourism Tasmania with a creative partner, Sydney's JimJam. The 60 second TV ad reveals the extraordinary effect David Walsh's Museum Of Old and New Art (MONA) has had on so many levels from within Tasmania, and from without (parts of it feature in the advert) The digitized, dervish Luhrmann-like sequences with their rotating points of view and 3D optics rush at you and the overall effect of the advert is so energized in comparison to previous beautiful, but static, wilderness powerpoints. This really *does make you stop and think about "what is behind" the front bit; the quirky, engaging, cultural, and outright weird and wonderful. People, across all segments, are so "up for it" like never before. They'll have a go - they want to get around it, and have a look at Tasmania - from all angles, at all times of the year, and not *just the shiny well-known bits. And the thing is, this mew campaign absolutely captures this dynamic shift that has occurred in the market since MONA's seismic start-up. The heads-down, furtive secrecy and 'oops I shouldn't look' persona has given way to a prevailing sense of cultural glasnost since the opening of the magnetic, compelling, consensual, adjective-robbing, parallel universe of wonder and awe perched out there on the banks of the Derwent in #Hobart. (I'm only sorry Nolan's Snake is moving out of the exhibition for a while - it's the most captivating work I will ever see, I think). The melding of art and culture with "the spectacular views" and "food and wine" as foundation and fundamental elements of Tasmania's tourism value proposition has never been clearer than in this campaign. Of course, it's writ large in massive black texta now in the shape of MONA. But the growth of the festivals subculture - like the magnificent Ten Days on the Island, on right now - has built the platform as well. It sure is a different take on a well-tried set of product and stories - but brilliantly captures the shifts. Great production, congrats TT. I tweet @VinceTaskunas