The anonymous street artist and political activist Banksy has organised a thought-provoking pop up “bemusement” park named Dismaland, an obvious satire of the magical Disneyland, with an opposite aim and a chilling twist.
The controversial theme park highlighting important social issues opens Saturday, August 22nd at a derelict location in Weston-Super-Mare, a seaside town in England, and will run until September 27th, 2015.
The exhibition includes the work of over 50 artists. It is billed as “The UK’s most disappointing new visitor attraction.”
Among the sites “attractions” is a boat filled with refugees while another boat points guns at them, the wreckage of Cinderella’s carriage being photographed by paparazzi echoing the death of Princess Diana, and a merry-go-round horse destined to become lasagne. There is also a Punch ‘N’ Julie show with references to 50 Shades of Grey, the Grim Reaper sitting on a bumper car and a dolphin being forced to perform tricks in an empty pool.
There is also a shop offering pocket money loans to children with an interest rate of 5,000 percent to show the popularity of payday loans with a extremely high payback rate. A fire-ravaged Disneyland style castle with a huge mermaid at the front is the main attraction.
In a press release Banksy stated that he wanted to put out something different as his art had become, “just as reassuringly white, middle class and lacking in women as any other art movement.” He added, “I guess it’s a theme park whose big theme is—theme parks should have bigger themes.”
The shows organizers say the park is an “escape from mindless escapism.”
Banksy described the dark show as a “family theme park unsuitable for children.”
The artist has paid for the whole exhibition himself, however, at only £3 a ticket it is unknown as to whether the show will make a profit or not. Banksy is well-known for making political statements, so it is likely that this project is more about raising awareness with eye-opening pieces of art and showcasing the talents of many other artists than making a buck.
The theme park will also bring in 4,000 visitors a day to the seaside town, which is close to Banksy’s own home town of Bristol.
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Author: Alex Myles
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Video Still