Gambling millionaire, MONA owner and eccentric genius David Walsh has weighed into the controversy over an upcoming performance at the Dark Mofo festival involving a freshly slaughtered bull by saying that public outrage is great for the Tasmanian economy.

The performance, directed by Austrian artist Hermann Nitsch, is described by MONA as "a bloody, sacrificial ritual performed by the patriarch of Viennese Actionism, his devoted disciples and an orchestra." It's part of a long tradition of Nitsch's works which use animal entrails to explore concepts related to sacrifice and rituals.


Animal activists aren't super keen, though. Animal Liberation Tasmania kicked off a petition to call off the exhibition which raked in 14,500 signatures.

Walsh defended Nitsch's performance in a social media post, implying that much of the critique is hypocritical.

Recently, there has been a rising tide of opposition to a Hermann Nitsch project planned for Dark Mofo. He uses a bull marked for slaughter to ritualistically cover a bunch of people in blood [...] I expect the tide to keep rising.

But stopping Nitsch won't stop me doing the sort of self-serving, status-enhancing, biologically bound good that I do through MONA. You should be protesting that, too.

And you also should have a crack at getting your own 'house in order' (as the Bible says). You should, of course, stop eating meat, and rapacious crops, and you should stop doing anything that has cost (economic, social or environmental). And you should take all the cash you squander and spend it buying mosquito nets, or some other efficient life-saving interventions.

"For, as the Bible also says, 'why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?'.

Nice. He also made a truly intoxicating proposition: perhaps Tasmania should stimulate its economy by randomly killing someone. Can't help but agree. Get on it, Tourism Tasmania.

Imagine I, David Walsh, go down into the gallery, kill someone at random, and call it art. A lovely ironic way to do this would be to put the suicide machine on display, but make it work. My defence would be: It's a work of art — a lesson in the complex consequences of immorality.

"What would happen to the Tasmanian economy? My guess is MONA would go from being well known globally to being a household word. Disaster tourism would drive MONA to the top of the charts, and Tasmania's economy would go along for the ride.

Forget the clean air and gorgeous scenery, folks. The real draw of tourism to Tasmania is David Walsh hypothetically committing a murder in MONA. I for one am all for it.

Source: ABC.
Photo: Dark Mofo.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this headline suggested Mr Walsh directly stated that murder is great for tourism, rather than implying it. PEDESTRIAN.TV regrets the error.