“Dismaland”: Banksy’s New Art Exhibition on Display in a Macabre, Disney-Inspired Theme Park
It may not be the happiest place on earth, but Banksy’s new Dismaland Bemusement Park promises to be a thrilling pop-up destination for lovers of art, rides and games, and dark humor. Billed as a “family theme park unsuitable for children” and “a festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism,” the street artist’s latest project offers “an alternative to the sugar-coated tedium of the average family day out,” according to the park’s website. Dismaland features 10 new works by the famous provocateur, as well as the contributions of 57 other artists from around the world, including Damien Hirst, Zaria Forman, Brock Davis, Ben Long, and more. Interspersed between the cheeky, grim “post-modem” artwork (pieces that Banksy says have “high click potential” in this digital age) are quirky rides, ironic displays, impossibly challenging fair games, and gruff employees who embody the deliberately glum atmosphere of the park.
For weeks, the project has been shrouded in secrecy as the park was being installed at Tropicana, a former outdoor swimming pool in the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, England. Locals and tourists were led to believe that the site fenced, 2.5-acre site was being used to film a Hollywood film, but rumors started to fly when Banksy’s alleged manager was spotted in the area. A local newspaper and the local council finally confirmed the artist’s involvement in the ambitious project. “I loved the Tropicana as a kid, so getting to throw these doors open again is a real honour,” said Banksy in a statement on the council’s website.
Dismaland will be open to the public from August 22 through September 27, with live events and performances throughout the next five weeks. Check out the park’s website for ticket information.