Saturday, 12 February 2011

Mona food

Visited the infamous Mona yesterday – and came away with some varying feelings about the place.

The museum:

As many have said before me, and will say again in the future, the collection itself is varied, huge and different to what you would normally see if you entered the place (or museum) of someone else, who might coincidentally be a collector of something. Having been bought up in a home where art, in its many forms and subjects, was ‘de rigeur’ (and therefore normal), nothing at Mona shocked me, or caused me anything to ponder on. I definitely wasn’t underwhelmed, but emerged unmoved. I think D Walsh has a ‘thing’ for body parts – any body parts – which some may call unnatural, and others may welcome as being a normal acknowledgement of the fact that we all have them, and use them!

What DID shock me was the number of (have they been?) closet artlovers in the community present there yesterday. The place was a seething mass of humans! All manner of people ranging from local mullet-toting bogans (well, it IS situated opposite the Granada, in bogan heartland!) ambling up the driveway toward Mona in their singlets and low-slung jeans with flannies tied round their waists, smoking and sipping from stubbies, to upper-class Sandy Bay bejewelled matrons viewing the exhibits through their lorgnettes!

Is there an underground art-loving movement in Hobart, hitherto undiscovered by Rita, or are we just a group of sticky-beaking wankers who want to be seen at the current ‘in’ place?

I have been out to Moorilla quite a few times over the past years for meals and at various functions, and have always felt sad to observe the property being very much under-appreciated, and way under-utilised, when you consider its beauty and situation. I wished more people would put aside whatever bias they had against dining there (cos that’s basically the sum total of what you could do there at that time, generally) and actually USE this gorgeous place.

Well, David Walsh has now enabled anyone who so desires, to visit and spend hundreds if they want – on food, wine, books, gifts etc. And they are – in their thousands!

Whilst I didn’t have to fork out on an entrance fee, I DID eat some food at the cafeteria at the entrance to the museum. I ordered a Beef Massaman ($15). I took a punt that it might be good, sheerly on my knowledge of the people involved at Moorilla with the food side of things and crossed my fingers that a modicum of their passion for good food would have trickled down – and I am delighted to announce that it had! That was the best massaman I have had for ages, and was well up there with Ivory Café’s massaman.

So – arise Sir David – you built a bigger house for your artwork collection, and allowed us check it out as well. We thank you for your generosity of spirit. But to be frank, whilst I couldn’t give a rat’s arse about the artwork, I love the fact that it gives this array of oddly-assorted people, teeming around the venue like ants in an antnest, exposure to some great food, coffee and wine!
Posted on by Rita


Lucy said...

I don't believe that a familiarity with art and the ability to be shocked by art are mutually exclusive.

sir grumpy said...

Moorilla and MONA are in the wrong place. I rarely venture further north than Liverpool Street and way out around Granada is a no-chance.
I never really got blown away by Moorilla, too clinical for me.
I prefer mainland winery centres, which are often more rustic, with rough, whitewashed walls and dark beams and counters etc.
Even their cliche barrels to prop up wine displays have a homely feeling.
As for art, well a nice Constable will do for me, now that's real and proper art.
Wot you fink, girl?

RITA (at Nelllies house) said...

Hi Lucy - not sure if you're criticising me or not, but never mind...thanks for commenting.
Sir G - you really ARE out to stir, aren't you? I know what you mean by the whitewashed walls and dark beams look, but, old man, they just don't make them like that any more!
As for you and your Constables...!! Your really are a Pom, aren't you?
That's wot I fink, Sir G!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the Massaman was made from the 'Meat Wall'? Gotta use it somewhere and those spices will cover up the decaying smell nicely...

sir grumpy said...

Now, your not telling me all those Picassos and Van Goghs are worth a fraction of a decent landscape are you?
(I mean worth in the purely non-monetary sense, of course).
And it's precisely because they don't make wineries the old way that I don't go to the new ones.
Same modern disease that produces, hard-surfaced (therefore noisy and cold feeling) restaurants with no comfort in them.
And modern homes with open-plan shitty kitchens running right from the lounge with lots of stainless steel and a crappy island thingy with lousy veneers.
Oh dear. If only everyone was as artistic as me. Wot you fink?

RITA said...

Anon - the massaman may well have been made with the meat from the meat wall, as it (the meat) had gone yesterday when we were there! Whatecer - it tasted damn good!
Sir G - I prefer a landscape to a Picasso but not too fussed. I also prefer the open plan kitchen, so everyone can participate in mealtimes, whether they're preparing it, or eating it!

Anonymous said...

Tomorrow there might be a massaman wall...I'm just saying....

Victor said...

Hey Anon, I am not surprise if it is from the meat wall. I was asking the staff how long the meat would be hanging there. Her response - the meat is changed daily! So there you go, Rita. That's massaman curry. LOL. Sorry, I couldn't help thinking about it. At least, there is nothing to do with the shite making machine!

reb said...

WEll said Rita,

As fcar as "the art" goes, in my view you don't have to like it, in order to enjoy it.

It's a stunning building and confronting collection.

It's a fantastic benefit to Hobart.

I haven't eaten at Moorila for a while so can't really comment, but I think that MONA is word class, and that people who whinge about it ought to be spanked!

sir grumpy said...

But Reb, Reb....why couldn't they have built them things in a proper place like south of Liverpool St?
It's too dangerous to mix with the roughies more norther than that.
Maybe MONA hangs meat as a warning to bogans and ferals.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the shit machine adds rice as well. How cool is that!!!!

TG said...

I noticed the same broad range of people amongst the seething masses at Mona on my recent visit. I figure there will be a certain pocket of society that will visit because they're intrigued by the promise of rude bits on display (and the poo machine) and admission is free so what is there to lose.

We had a very nice, simple lunch at the Wine Bar on our visit, so I recommend checking that out too.

lemon curd said...

I went last week - loved it, and think he achieved that goal of a 'subversive adult disneyland' - while the art was interesting, it was more the way it was presented in that amazing building...I took great delight in rounding corners, ascending stairs, always wondering what was around the next corner.

Loved Nolan's 'Snake', my favourite piece.

Had lunch at The Source - brill! Have the duck.

Christina "the bogan roughie" said...

Holding my tongue Sir G, but only

reb said...

Maybe the lingering bogans are meant to be part of the art?

He's very clever this David Walsh....

Anonymous said...

Boganvillia indeed! and a portrait of the Madonna with the big.............

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately Sir G not only do you live and wander around in the wrong place but the wrong era too.
Maybe somewhere back in the fifties would do for you for both food and art!

Contrarion said...

its a try-hard museum with things that would have shocked a few years ago. no continuity and the supposed them of sex and death? Death sure but where is the sexy art? A wall of snatches does not provoke lust nor does dismembered naked bodies. more like violence and death. it might be his soap box but to me the pieces are there for shock value alone and beyond this, it dosn't really invite a second viewing and stirs about the same interest and scandal as a year 11 art competition.
I was left feeling that the whole thing is simply a monument to a wealthy smug man whose taste in art has not left glenorchy despite all his money.

Anonymous said...

Sir G, as much as we love you, you're a bit of an old dinosaur. Whether we like it or not, Mr Menzies, typewriters, pounds and shillings, mock chicken drumsticks and blanc mange are mercifully artifacts of history. We sometimes wish that some other bygone things were still around - polite service, retail staff who know something about product, soup that didn't come out of a blender, cheap scallops and crayfish.
I suppose that's progress!!

Rita said...

TG - I too thought that about the patrons. I checked out the menu at the Wine Bar when we arrived, and I assumed we'd pop in there after, but hadn't seen the cafe at that stage, and the menu items there sounded good too, so was happy to eat there. I will return down the track though - but sheerly for the food, because I enjoyed it so much, and I love people watching.
Christina - you know Sir G of old, and I happen to know you love him too, so don't get sucked into his crazy vortex, and skewed public view of the world according to Grumps!

Anonymous said...

wow...... you people are amazingly sure of yourselves.

Christina "the bogan roughie" said...

Oh Rita I certainly know what Sir G is like and I'm not sucked in by him at all. In fact I thought of him quite fondly as we walked from our home in Boganville yesterday to enjoy our day in the Audi Marquee at the Hobart Cup,all expenses paid. Didn't even need to spring for cab fare! Catered by Joff too I might add. Of course it was wonderful.

sir grumpy said...

Sorry Christina et al. I use my Liverpool St ruse as an excuse for not going places because I'm basically a lazy bastard!
I have favourite places all over Hobart and Tassie and some pals live north of Glenorchy (shocking).
I am not much of a museum or art gallery goer...because as a lad in the UK the school used to force us into all that museum and art stuff and I am well over it.
Mind you some of the art (?) I see nowadays is a joke, piles of bricks, toilets, etc.
Come on, their having a laugh and the gullible who like to be thought of as intellectual go along with it, adopting an attitude of ``you have to be a superior type like us to get it, man''.
Ho, ho, ho.

art lover said...

Sir Grumpy may not appreciate modern art but does himself no service with an attitude which exposes his poverty of mind.
The very attitude that you display about those "gullible" people who "effect" to enjoy these works in order to be considered "cool" or intellectually aware" betray the that that you, yourself, have a closed mind when it comes to artistic experience and the possibility that there could be something enlightening and worthwhile here.
This is inverted snobbery of the worse kind, smug in the conviction that those that fail to be as dismissive as you must be wankers.

sir grumpy said...

I only express my opinion, art lover, it's the only one I have.
If you like the modern stuff that's good too.
I'm sure if I looked I'd find lots of modern things I liked.
It's just not high on my priority list.
Some of the things thrust at me on TV and in the papers which are designated art I disagree with.
I have my own parameters. It's like a lot of modern architecture, not good in my opinion.
But I like beauty, something to please the eye and warm the heart.
If you get that from your version of art that's good.
I have an open mind but use that to come to a resolution in many areas.
Don't you like debate? You only get that through opinion.

art lover said...

Fair enough, but it's not really a debate if you attack the credibility or intelligence of your opposite number instead of using a counter argument. Then again, I suppose I adopted that "tone" in my response to you. I did like your statement -

"But I like beauty.........."

sir grumpy said...

Yes, agreed, art lover. But I like a little lash-out occasionally, it cleans the pipes.
(I usually have to backtrack and give my fuller explanation after a lash-out to someone who tackles me on it)
Maybe I'll adopt the middle path of the Tao and keep my gob shut. (or at least more tightly controlled!). It might be easier that way.

Christina said...

Never change Sir G, you are loved just the way you are.

BK said...

Sir Grumpy, you prefer rough, whitewashed walls and dark beams? Been to the Fox & Hounds lately then? *spew*