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Sun Sets on Mona Foma

Sculpture of inflatable person head in hand on water at sunset.

David Walsh

Posted on Friday 5 April 2024

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At Mona Foma —Mofo—at the Peacock Theatre, we joined the Zen Circus, and Italian punk came to live, rent free, in my head.

In 2023 Peaches turned us all on with her sexy songs, but the thing that turned me on the most was the sign language interpreter signing ‘peg’.

Guy Ben-Ary in 2017, wiring living neurons to speakers and cajoling them to scream. Gotye playing the ondioline. Robin Fox’s beacons. David Byrne and Philip Glass. Wire and Cale. The Saints and St. Vincent. Dresden Dolls and Dan Deacon. Sun Ra and Neneh Cherry. Kate Miller-Heidke and Vieux Farka Touré.

And the finches playing guitar. From Here to Ear. That was the first one, in 2009. We bought that work, but we’ve never shown it again. It was too much the first time.

Mona Foma took us around the world. But it ends here. Maybe the end started at Covid. Maybe it’s because the last festival was a poorly attended artistic triumph. But those aren’t the reasons I killed it.

I know that we live for experience but, more and more, I seek permanence, a symbolic immortality. At Mona, I’m building this big thing, hopefully it’ll be a good thing, but it’s a costly thing. I’m addicted to building, and my addiction got out of hand. Some things have to go before I’m too far gone.

Mona Foma is one of those things. It’s been magical, but the spell has worn off. Only these words, from Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle, remain: ‘Live by the Foma that makes you brave and kind and healthy and happy.’

Gratitude to all of you that came. And to those who didn’t, a silver lining: you’ll no longer suffer from FOMO for FOMA. And anyway, repetition is regimentation. And regimentation is ridiculous.

Greatest gratitude to those who helped put it together. I hope it was as good for you as it was for me.

Header image: Man, 2019, Parer Studio