Across The Pond: Banksy’s Dismaland

By Sarah Epperson
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The world’s favorite, yet somehow most mysterious street artist Banksy has just unveiled his latest piece: a grotesque take on the “Happiest Place on Earth”, Dismaland. Banksy is known for his extreme disdain towards the Disney corporation, commonly portraying their classic characters in what some may argue a more realistic setting. His feud with Walt goes way back—the artist was kicked out of Disneyland in his 2010 documentary “Exit Through The Gift Shop” for adding a Guantanamo Bay prisoner inflatable piece off of Disneyland’s Thundermountain ride. Banksy is notorious for boldly speaking his mind on taboo and uncomfortable current events, unearthing what most would like to turn a blind eye to in a brilliant way.

The Dismaland park sits on Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset in the United Kingdom—dang, we wanna go now—and features work from “50 artists from around the world including Damien Hirst, Bill Barminski, Caitlin Cherry, Polly Morgan, Josh Keyes, Mike Ross, David Shrigley, Bäst, and Espo” according to ThisIsColossal.com.

Dismaland’s brochure reads: Are you looking for an alternative to the soulless sugar-coated banality of the average family day out? Or just somewhere cheaper? Then this is the place for you—a chaotic new world where you can escape from mindless escapism. Instead of a burger stall, we have a museum. In place of a gift shop we have a library, well, we have a gift shop as well. Bring the whole family to come and enjoy the latest addition to our chronic leisure surplus—a bemusement park. A theme park who’s big theme is: theme parks should have bigger themes… This event contains adult themes, distressing imagery, extended use of strobe lighting, smoke effects and swearing. The following items are strictly prohibited: knives, spraycans, illegal drugs, and lawyers from the Walt Disney corporation.

In addition to the incredible artwork, lucky visitors of the park can look forward to “a few rides, completely impossible fair games, interactive artworks, random live performances and unexpected spectacles happening throughout the day. The entire exhibition is staffed by morose Dismaland employees who seem completely uninterested in being helpful or informative. Getting in requires an uncomfortably awkward NSA-esque screening, and even trying to find the exit required a near herculean effort” – ThisIsColossal.com. Run The Jewels, Massive Attack, Peanut Butter Wolf, Savages, Pussy Riot, and more will perform at the park on special event nights running August 28th – September 25th.

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Information and photographs from ThisIsColossal.com get more information on Dismaland here.




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