About Sex, Death, Art, Music and A Lot Of Alcohol —Part 1

On March 17, 2020, David Walsh posted an announcement with a length of 875 words on the official website of his private art museum MONA. Different from the announcements of other art museums, MONA’s not only has a large number of words, but also does not seem to be a ghostwriting. Has David Walsh’s wild and uninhibited attitude.

In June, many art galleries and museums in Australia were opened one after another, but when it was necessary to make an appointment online, David wrote a short announcement this time, the gist of which is as follows:

This year is the 10th anniversary of MONA opening, which is a big deal for us, but it’s made even bigger because of Covid-19. We are forced to stop and think about the past ten years and the next ten years. The world is different because of Covid-19, and so are we.
Ten years ago we dressed up and had nowhere to go;
Now we’re naked and don’t know what to wear yet.
Everyone looks a little embarrassed now.

Anyway, now that we’ve made a mess of the museum, we won’t be open until October, but our Faro Bar will be entertaining guests who want to come before the museum opens.

Regarding the story of MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), many introductions will start from David Walsh. His legendary story as a professional gambler can be summed up in one sentence. The genius mathematician created a formula that never loses. He and his team of professional gamblers swept the world’s casinos and made a lot of money.

But gambling doesn’t make money as quickly as art spends money.

The reason why MONA was built was because one day he realized that his auctioned artworks would be destroyed if they were placed in his house by the sea. Simply build a museum to store your collection.

And this museum, he did not expect to spend 75 million Australian dollars in the end, and the final 10 million Australian dollars was earned by professional gamblers at the Melbourne Cups in 2009.

The exhibits collected by David Walsh and also exhibited by MONA revolve around sex and death. When the museum opened, many media commented: “Walking to MONA is like looking at the inner world of David Walsh, a dark and mysterious place. This museum is like An autobiography that makes you feel weird.”

Life is in vain after all

David Walsh has a quirky collection, but in 2009 he was ready to buy the rest of the life of 65-year-old French artist Christian Boltanski.

Initially, David showed great interest in Boltanski’s work, but after a long dinner, Boltanski, one of the most iconic contemporary French artists, proposed an even crazier pairing. Bet proposal: Take my life as a bet, if I die before January 2018, you win; if I live beyond January 2018, you lose.

The ghost knows how many bottles of beer, wine and whiskey he drank that night, but David agreed and signed the gambling agreement because he thought “I have never lost, so I won’t lose this time.”

In this gamble with Boltanski’s death as a bet, since January 2010, four cameras have been installed in the artist’s studio to record his work and life around the clock, and the video content is projected in real time on his name. MONA, open to the public, is titled The Life of Christian Boltanski.

Now in 2020, we all know the result. David, a professional gambler who was banned from casinos all over the world, lost.

Boltanski won the gamble and fulfilled what he said earlier: “If you win this gamble, you will have a solo exhibition in China.” As he wished, he won the gamble and held his exhibition at the Power Station of Art in Shanghai The first large-scale solo exhibition “Memories”, in an interview, said with a smile to this gambling: “Even if he really died, the collector only has his video, not his soul, so it’s just futile.”

After all, life is a ridiculous and futile gamble.


MONA is a museum, but it has been going further and further on the road of anti-museum. Even when MONA was doing branding, its boss David did not allocate a marketing budget, let alone outdoor advertising and other forms of advertising. An anti -marketing act.

It doesn’t tell you anything, it just shows the collection of art.

Can you gain knowledge from visiting MONA? unknown.

How are you going to visit MONA? Which work is worth staying? What art worlds can you connect with through this work?

No one is going to tell you that you go with your heart and feel how you feel.

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