Dark Mofo 2018: Our Ultimate Guide

Home / Dark Mofo 2018: Our Ultimate Guide
Most Recent Blogs

Step out into the night and fall down the laser-lit rabbit hole—Dark Mofo is on again from Thursday 7 to Sunday 24 June. Explore large-scale exhibitions and eye-catching art installations. Feast by firelight. Be swept up in film, theatre and concert. Think dangerous thoughts. Feel the vibrations of otherworldly sounds. Dance with the city’s offbeat heart.

Presenting our ultimate guide to Dark Mofo! The events listed are all free, unless otherwise stated.

Family favourites

Same same, but different.

kateenno Feast
Image: @kateenno/Instagram

At Mona Museum

The mothership [free for Tasmanian residents].

  • Mona‘s new exhibition features major artworks from the ZERO movement.
  • An old favourite from the very first Dark Mofo, Ryoji Ikeda’s spectra, has found a permanent new home at Mona. The towering pillar of light stretches up into the sky from sunset to sunrise for the winter solstice.
  • Charles Ross has built a room full of rainbows! Spectrum Chamber is open atop Pharos, Mona’s new wing. BYO unicorn.
  • Ponder the randomness of natural forces at Cameron Robbins’ Wind Section Instrumental in Mona’s Round House.
  • Fabien Giraud + Raphaël Siboni’s two part exhibition, The Unmanned, recounts a history of technology, from the death of animal gods in 1542, to the extinction of the sun in 7231.

Image: @ellocofish/Instagram

Captivity + escape

“This house is a prison!”
—Will Ferrell, Step Brothers.

  • Swiss curator Barbara Polla explores the idea of imprisonment in ‘A Journey To Freedom‘ at TMAG, exploring physical confinement as well as psychological and social prisons.
  • Four Tasmanian artists have been working with four Risdon Prison (aka The Pink Palace) inmates to create a series of new video works.
  • James Newitt’s exhibition, Delay, ponders the perils and possibilities of escape, isolation and heading south to an island off the southern coast of Tasmania.
  • Step into the 19th century home of a middle-class Victorian wife at Narryna’s Within These Walls. Tightly constrained by corset and domestic duties, escaping through dreams, desires and transgression [$5 on the door].

midnightmagenta TMAG
Image: @midnightmagenta/Instagram

Weird + wacky

You what, mate?

  • You never know who’s encased in a chamber beneath your feet… On Thursday 14 June, controversial performance artist Mike Parr will be entombed Underneath the Bitumen on Macquarie Street. He’ll remain underground for 72 hours while daily life goes on above him, memorialising the genocidal violence of 19th century British colonialism in Australia.
  • At 7.42am on Friday 22 June, drop your duds and plunge into Sandy Bay’s icy waters for the annual Nude Solstice Swim [free with registration]. Your body may shrivel but your mind will expand (maybe).
  • For French & Mottershead’s Waterborne, take a boat ride up the icy river and listen to the story of your body’s afterlife and process of decay in water [ticketed].
  • Sixteen Legs gets you up close and personal with the Tasmanian cave spider. The film features a score written and performed by Dean Stevenson and Kate Miller-Heidke with the TSO [ticketed].
  • If you were lucky enough to get tickets in the ballot, dress to excess and leave your identity at the door for the Société Anonyme Costume Ball.
  • At Lou Reed: Drones, feel the roaring hum of the late Lou Reed’s guitars and amps, activated by magnetic cones, unleashing waves of feedback.

rosiehastie Nude Swim
Image: @rosiehastie/Instagram

The occult

Forgive me, David Walsh, for I have sinned.

  • Invisible House is a frenzied celebration of arcane knowledge, magic, science, and the occult, carried out by maverick filmmakers, visionary photographers, installation artists, automatic painters and committed ritualists.
  • In Rapture (Silent Anthem), a camera tracks a crowd lost in silent worship… But is it a sermon, ceremony or concert?

Thought provoking

Side effects may include sitting in the foetal position in the shower until the water runs cold.

  • Dark + Dangerous Thoughts is two intense days of people who live and die by their words, including a program of film and performance. Explore life, death, doubt, displacement, religion, violence, and even taxes [ticketed].
  • A diverse range of Australian artists explore what it means to live in these so-called ‘interesting times’ in Dark [Other] Times—are we currently living in a time of rupture, rapture, or revulsion?
  • If you like swimming with bathers on in a pool, register for Landing to be part of a continuous relay, swimming the distance between Australia and Manus Island.
  • The Victorian Opera + Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra perform a seething contemporary take of The Rape of Lucretia [ticketed].


Because art and science.

  • The Return contends that time travel is an everyday occurrence. Fall down that little rabbit hole as you’re guided through a series of video, sound, sculpture and installation works in the old convict penitentiary.
  • Liminals, a sci-fi pseudo-documentary by Canadian artist Jeremy Shaw, explores whether ecstatic rituals of dance and other transcendental activities could save us from extinction.
  • Laurie Anderson + Hsin-Chien Huang’s Chalkroom is a collaboration of virtual reality. Fly through a shadowy city and explore a dark world of fractured stories and drawings, exploded clouds of language, and crumbling words [$10+bf].



  • Island Shrine is a brooding video and sound installation inspired by Tarenorerer, a Tasmanian Aboriginal warrior woman and tyrelore (island wife) who fought white colonists in Tasmania’s genocidal Black War.
  • Einstürzende Neubauten’s Lament is a blistering requiem for the outbreak of World War I. Their leading man, Blixa Bargeld, also performs separately [both ticketed].
  • Quartet for the End of Time was written and first performed in the Stalag VIII-A concentration camp during World War II. Witness Messiaen’s haunting meditation on nature’s beauty, humankind’s ruin by war, and salvation with God [ticketed].

Party People

See where the night takes you [all ticketed].

  • Night Mass is a sprawling nocturnal neighbourhood with more than one hundred artists spread throughout five different venues. Discover artworks, performances, cocktail lounges, clubs and raves.
  • Red Bull Music presents Jagwar Ma and a curated collection of live artists, DJs, and visual artists as they blur the line between the stage and the club.
  • Laterne by Berlin Atonal is a temple of experimental and electronic music, performance, and audio-visual art.
  • If head-banging is how you party, Hymns to the Dead offers a night of extreme metal mayhem.

Image: @katypotaty77/Instagram

Ticketed shows

Good luck with your celebrity selfie quest [all ticketed, lots sold out, all selling fast].

  • Funnyman (musician, actor, composer, writer) Tim Minchin performs his first solo performance in Australia in nearly a decade.
  • Dream pop chanteuse and Twin Peaks: The Return star Chrysta Bell performs with special guest Rebekah Del Rio.
  • Enchanting songstress Rebekah Del Rio takes up residence during Night Mass.
  • Laurie Anderson celebrates language and stories through live music, video, spoken word and electronics.
  • St Vincent returns with warped and wild pop music of power and sorrow from her latest album, Masseduction.
  • Electric Wizard bring their magic direct from the metal underground.
  • Electro-punk powerhouse Alice Glass performs, plus electronic goth-pop from Zola Jesus.
  • Tanya Tagaq unleashes a fierce live performance of her album Retribution, backed by a full choir. You can also journey to the Arctic Circle with Tagaq and band as they perform an explosive live score to a screening of Robert J. Flaherty’s silent chequered classic, Nanook of the North (1922).
  • Hear music in decay with William Basinski’s The Disintegration Loops, reinterpreted by an orchestra.
  • Go on an emotional journey with Kiwi crooner Marlon Williams.
  • Legend of the New York underground Lydia Lunch will hurl spoken word histrionics with improvisational virtuoso Weasel Walter.
  • Laura Jean brings deep pop and dancing, debuting her latest album, Devotion.
  • Nobody (Willis Earl Beal) delivers an unsettling and soulful collision of synths, blues and folk.
  • Experimental music shape-shifter Jarboe joins forces with Italy’s duo of occult psychadelia and Catholic guilt, Father Murphy.
  • Kiwi psychadelic folk four-piece Tiny Ruins has collaborated with David Lynch, and will share the stage with Jess Ribeiro and her hazy, brooding rock’n’roll.
  • Archie Roach and Tiddas perform songs from Archie’s lost and rediscovered album, Dancing With My Spirit.
  • For Eternal, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra performs timeless masterpieces from Baltic Europe.
  • Backwards from Winter—an operatic work for soprano, electric cello, video and computer—tells a tragic love story in reverse, through the cycle of the seasons.
  • Second Echo Ensemble’s By My Hand is an immersive work of physical theatre, performed in a structure made from rock and rope, featuring a live score played on invented and traditional instruments.
  • In Borrowed Verse, Australian and New Zealand songwriters and poets come together to tangle the traditions of music and poetry.
  • Notorious New York artist Charlemagne Palestine brings a throbbing, trance-like organ performance.
  • Alexander Hacke + Danielle de Picciotto present Crossroads, a silent film of their global pilgrimage, set to a live score.
  • In Animal—an unrelenting work of physical theatre—two sisters prepare for survival in a savage society.

See the full program for more info and to buy tickets.

We love it when you share your adventures with us! Share your snaps by tagging @hobartandbeyond and using #HobartandBeyond on Instagram and Facebook – we’ll share our favourite pics on social media and in the blog.

Related posts:
Like a Moth to a Flame: #PTTR2018 Photo Competition
Family Friendly Guide to Dark Mofo
12 Accommodation Options for Dark Mofo
Winery Tastings & Tours: Cellar Doors of Southern Tasmania
A Lost World: Four Ways to Explore the Southwest National Park

Header image:

Isabel Galloway

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search

linziebirchley headerfimorley5 cropped
Web design company Hobart