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The Best Things We Saw at Mofo 2016

From architecturally designed aromatic chambers to wild peacocks.
Mona's metallic entrance. Photos by the author unless otherwise stated

Last weekend the site of Tasmania's Mona was transformed into a festival of music and art. Mofo overtook the gallery, the grounds, and venues around Hobart. Here are our highlights.

TSOC Extreme

These guys (Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Chorus) popped up around the gallery, completely captivating the crowds with their otherworldly vocals. The ethereal sound against the backdrop of the gallery made for a goosebump-inducing environment. They sung in stairwells, exhibition spaces, and even crammed into Mona's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-style glass elevator. With a set centered around the theme of 'Stairway to Heaven', they also did a cover of Led Zeppelin's eponymous 1971 hit, which was met with overwhelming applause.


Aesop's Chamber of Light & Shadows

Located on the gallery's rooftop, this specially-constrcuted space designed by architect Timothy Hill was a delight. Walking into the sweet-smelling wooden crate chamber was instantly relaxing, with the shoothing voices of Aesop staff explaining the hydrating properties of chamomile and rosemary.

The Flaming Lips' stage spectacular

@waynecoyne5 and #TheFlamingLips, welcome to Monart. #Mofo2016.

A photo posted by MONA FOMA (@monafoma) on Jan 15, 2016 at 12:57am PST

Confetti, balloons, and yes—Wayne Coyne's crowd-surfing bubble even made an appearance. Flaming Lips headlined Friday night, and highlights included an ode to Bowie. They covered 'Life on Mars?' before dedicating 'Feeling Yourself Disintegrate' to the late, great, Bowie.

Mathieu Briand's interactive DJ sculpture

Mathieu Briand's sculpture allowed any willing participants to try their hand at DJing. Records played samples on a continous loop, and the audience were invited to remix the sounds, even walking away with their own vinyl. This girl was basically the next Skrillex.

Spear's choreography 

Still from "Spear"

Spear is the first feature-length film by Stephen Page, the artistic director of the Bangarra Dance Theatre. A young man goes on a journey of self-exploration as the film examines contemporary indigenous identity by contrasting the setting of the outback with inner-city Sydney. With very minimal dialogue, the film is completely dance-driven. It's released in cinemas on March 10.


The transport

This is Mona's version of a 'ferry'—a camo-painted speed boat that blasts dubstep.

The wild life

Along with ducklings and roosters casually walking around the festival, there were also PEACOCKS, the unicorn equivalent of the bird-world.


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