I mentioned in my last post how much I was looking forward to another trip to Mona in Tassie. This one differed from the many previous visits because I have been given the absolute pleasure of placing a little bit of myself into the famous gallery. First, some background . . .
I love most of the exhibits at Mona but there is one that literally takes my breath away. It is as though I see it anew each time I visit. The first time I entered the room, I cried into the white silence. And now, all these years later, it sits at the periphery of my brain whenever I write. Or do I sit at its periphery? It means so many things to me. Here is a picture of Wilfredo Prieto’s “Untitled” (White Library) for you to feast on but you will not fully appreciate it until you stand amidst the whiteness yourself.
Image: Untitled (White Library), 2004 to 2006, Wilfredo Prieto (Photo credit: MONA/Rémi Chauvin.)
Back to me and the gallery. I was given the opportunity to write for the O Minor. (An explanation for those who have never been to Mona [what is wrong with you?]: The O is the device available at Mona which replaces traditional museum wall text. What I love about the O is that it seems to invite the viewer to respond to the art viscerally first before branching out for perspective.) My piece for the juniors (O Minor) reflects and ruminates on the ways in which we can write (and perhaps rewrite) personal life stories. I also wrote a piece aimed more at adult consumption but both are equally relevant regardless of age. I do hope you get the chance to listen to and read my slant but, more importantly, that you will have the opportunity to revel in the white library space and allow it to permeate your brain.
Speaking of brains, be sure to check out musician Ben Salter’s piece for juniors in response to Gregory Barsamian’s mesmerising strobing brain. Barsamian’s phrenological “Artifact” is among my favourites (although my brain can experience conniptions in response to it so I have to limit my viewing).
Pinky Beecroft (yes, the Machine Gun Fellatio guy) has given a wonderful insight into Jannis Kounellis’s challenging exhibit of goldfish swimming around a kitchen blade in an enamel bowl. Pinky also wrote [fabulously] for Erwin Wurm’s “Fat Car”.
I think the Junior O is an important addition to the viewing experience and I hope it encourages more visits by, and art conversations with, youngsters.
Time was not on my side for this visit (and there was all that fine Moorilla Pinot to drink) so I missed revisiting some of my other favourite works. In particular, I was looking forward to Patrick Hall’s “When my Heart Stops Beating” which sometimes makes me smile (or even laugh) and sometimes makes me weep. I imagine myself visiting Hall’s installation alone with hours to spend opening drawers and slowly savouring the words of Love. Then I would return to the room of white books to write for days on end with no sleep and a servant to bring me cheese and wine . . . but enough of my fantasies.
I hope to be back at Mona sooner rather than later. In the meantime, my work-in-progress has not progressed of its own accord so I will chain myself to the keyboard but my brain will be nestled into a corner of the untitled white library as I write.