When we visited Tasmania on our trip to Australia with Adventures by Disney, there were many activities on our schedule, such as zip-lining, meeting kangaroos at an animal sanctuary and sea kayaking, to name a few. When we arrived in Hobart, we were treated to something we didn’t have much of during the trip – free time. Since our guides had gotten to know us over the previous 10 days, they suggested we might like to visit a museum they don’t usually recommend to the families typically on the tour. We decided not to go and spent the day walking around Hobart and having a wonderful dinner. I’m not disappointed about how we spent our day, but looking back in 20/20 hindsight, I’m a bit sad we never went to the museum.
The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is located about 20 minutes north of Hobart, Tasmania by either car or ferry. The museum is the brainchild of David Walsh. It includes a collection of seemingly incongruous exhibits where the only connecting thread is they are subjects which are interesting to David. Except for items filed under the category “Stuff David Bought When He Was Drunk.”
The most famous, or infamous, permanent exhibit of the museum is Cloaca Professional, 2010 by Wim Delvoye, otherwise known as the “Poop Machine.”
The machine is fed daily and through several enzymatic, temperature controlled processes, the food eventually comes out the other end of the machine as, well, exactly what you think it would, smell and all. Unlike normal digestive systems, this one works like clockwork so you can plan your time at the museum to be present for the “event.”
If you’re interested in the science of the machine, here’s a good article that explains it more than I’d ever want to.
There are plenty of other exhibits at the museum under constant rotation. Mr. Walsh originally had the idea to keep removing the most popular exhibits based on visitor comments. I told you this wasn’t a normal museum, know what you’re getting yourself into if you decide to visit.
If you’re staying in Hobart, the preferred way to get to the museum is by one of their two high speed ferries. The ride isn’t free but it does look like it’s a heck of lot of fun
For more information about the MONA, including pricing, current exhibits and ferry times, you can visit their website. I’m going to warn you that there are several pages on the museum’s website that are NSFW. I mean really NSFW. If you’re at all sensitive about language or adult situations, it’s probably better to not click on the link and look around the website. Anyway, here’s the museum’s home page:
So…yeah. If you did click on it, I know that’s not what you’d normally expect to see on a museum’s website. I’m not sure if it’s a cultural difference between Americans and Australians, or if the man who founded the museum has so much money that he doesn’t really care what you think. Personally, I’m kinda leaning towards the latter. 😉
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This post first appeared on YourMileageMayVary.Net
Photos via the MONA website