MONA – The Red Queen

the_red_queen_monaThe Red Queen is a character from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass. She’s a sinister mixture of power and futility: even as she doles out orders willy-nilly, she seems to lock herself in a weird and lonely prison of words.

Featuring more than 100 pieces including works and objects from the Mona collection, The Red Queen exhibition continues our inquiry into the messy machinery of human nature by asking a rather big question: why do humans make art?

Anthropologists have discovered rocks we carved, bones and tools we honoured and marked, and caves we painted thousands of years ago, along with rituals and ceremonies we enacted.

If evolution is about unrelenting determination to adapt and survive in order to continue our species, then carrying out tasks that are time and resource wasting seems counterintuitive – unless, of course these skills made us who we are today.

During the last three decades a number of thinkers have written on this unexplored subject: Geoffrey Miller, Steven Pinker, Leda Cosmides and co-worker John Tooby, and Brian Boyd are those we have considered.

The Red Queen features Neolithic arrowheads to Egyptian scarabs, carvings and funerary art, from gold and silver Bactrian and Indo-Greek coins from ancient Afghanistan to commissions made this year; loans from the National Gallery of Victoria; The Museum of Everything (the world’s only travelling museum for undiscovered, unintentional and untrained artists from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries); and The Holmes à Court Collection in Perth.

The Red Queen
Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) – 655 Main Road Berriedale (Hobart)
Exhibition continues to 21 April 2014
Entry fees apply

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: courtesy of MONA