Jan 27, 2011 12:00AM

MONA: Museum of Sex and Death

The richest private museum in the Southern Hemisphere has just opened.


Tasmania's Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), the richest private museum in the Southern Hemisphere, opened to the public last weekend. The subversive private museum of gambler David Walsh houses his multi-million dollar collection of contemporary art and antiquities, including Wim Delvoye's Cloaca, a machine that simulates the human digestive system - commonly described as the 'poo machine'.

Themes of sex and death run throughout the collection, touching on topics of bestiality, euthanasia, sadomasochism, religion and rebellion amounting to a display described by many as 'Disneyland for adults'.

Setting a new standard for private art support in Australia and internationally, Walsh's MONA questions the role of the art museum through his brazen presentation of risk-taking art and ideas free of being answerable to boards, patrons or government bodies.

Image credits:

1) Installation view

2) Mikala Dwyer

3) Damien Hirst

4) Freshly slaughtered animals on display between the cheese and meat terrine tables at the opening

5) The 'poo machine' - Wim Delvoye's Cloaca

6) Anselm Kiefer

Words: Melissa Loughnan

Melissa is the Founding Director of Melbourne's Utopian Slumps gallery.