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Wednesday 27 February 2019

MONA: When in doubt what to do next; let the wife have a crack

"There is a subsonic musical note that is said to cause humans to lose control of their bowels."

Only David Walsh and his team at MONA, Hobart's Museum of Old and New Art, would start a press release like that.

For MONA's next exhibition, opening on April 13, Walsh has handed over the reins to his artist wife Kirsha Kaechele, who will curate Eat The Problem.

The exhibition will feature the world’s largest glockenspiel and will be accompanied by a series of immersive feasts where the so-called ‘brown note’ will be played.

Eat the Problem is described as "a highly performative exhibition that will engage visitors in various acts of transformation". It is the culmination of Kaechele’s surrealist exploration of turning flaw into feature, using invasive species - including humans - in food and art.

After entering the gallery space in complete darkness, visitors will encounter a monumental glockenspiel - the largest in the world - illuminated in the full colour spectrum. The glockenspiel provides an introduction to the world of cymatics, the movement of matter created by soundwaves. Guest musicians will play the immense instrument throughout the exhibition's run.

The glockenspiel sculpture will also serve as a grand dining table for a series of immersive feasts, celebrating ritual and community.

Using invasive species such as cane toad and sea urchin, the degustation menu will be developed by Mona’s executive chef Vince Trim.

The dishes will progress from white to black through the entire colour spectrum, including an uplifting yellow course and a peace-inducing purple course and a terrifying red course. During the brown course, visitors may experience the effects of the ‘brown note.’

Every element of the feasts - from the cutlery and ceramics to the glockenspiel table and performances - will be are artworks designed to surprise and provoke.

Alongside the feasts, visitors can undergo "transformative" healing sessions including sound baths, bodywork, infrared heat and cryogenic treatments.

Performance artist Tora López of INNER COURSE will lead the hot and cold therapies. Elena Stonaker and Amelia Barlow are creating To Eat & Be Eaten, an installation involving divination rituals and powder derived from an invasive mushroom species.

Kirsha Kaechele says: “Eat the Problem brings to life the practice of transforming shit into gold through a delightfully experimental and confronting, but outrageously glamorous, feast for the senses.

The exhibition will coincide with the launch of the Eat the Problem book. Published 25 March, this deluxe food and art compendium comprises a series of ‘recipes’ using invasive species—both real and surreal.

Kirsha Kaechele is an American artist and curator, interested in the space where complex problems exists. Her projects are based at MONA and in New Orleans.

MONA is Australia’s largest private museum showing ancient, modern and contemporary art. Founded by philanthropist and collector Walsh, it opened in 2011. Pharos, MONA's new wing, was unveiled ins December.

Eat the Problem will open on April 13 and runs until 2 September 2019. Tickets for feasts and treatments on sale from March 25.

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