Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park

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Welcome to a land of depression – iconic street art artist Banksy opened Disneyland backward. With a star of graffiti art, Banksy, you won’t get bored! His new project in 2015, fireworks of misanthropy and depression, “blew up” the provincial Weston Super Mare in England. The artist turned an abandoned swimming pool “Tropicana” into Mordor, inhabiting it with dead Cinderella, burnt locks, upside-down carriages.

Despair-land

When the resort town in North Somerset in 1937 opened at that time Europe’s largest swimming pool “Tropicana”, hardly anyone could imagine that in 78 years, its space for a few months will turn into the epicenter of artistic anarchy – Disneyland on the other side or Dismaland, which literally translates as “Land of Despair”.
At the best of times, the “Tropicana” was home to beauty contests, and in the ’80s its impeccable concrete interior was modernized by adding water slides with fountains. However, these days of the Tropicana were over and the park was closed and abandoned in 2000.
Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park
Weston Super Mare pool Tropicana in the ’90s.
Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park
Weston Super Mare pool Tropicana in the ’90s.
Mickey Mouse would cry
The idea of creating a grotesque parody of Walt Disney’s creation was born after visiting Banksy’s Tropicana, which has been abandoned for 15 years. According to Banksy, he loved this place very much, so he was honored to give the locals the opportunity to “stand in a puddle of muddy water, eating cold fries to the sound of children crying”. By the way, the queue for the first thousand tickets for the residents of Weston on an opening day lined up impressive, and today the network and time there is news about the difficulties with their purchase online.
Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park
Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park
Skillful art intriguer to the last kept “Dismaland” in secret, giving the setting installations for the scenery for the shooting of a Hollywood movie.
Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park
When asked what all this could mean, the author replied: “I think we can say that this is a theme park, whose important theme is to show that parks should have more important themes”.
Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park
Cartoon’s anti-utopia met the burned towers of Cinderella Castle. By the way, here’s the golden-skinned character by herself. Her carriage hadn’t turned into a pumpkin but seemed to have had a serious accident. Anyway, everyone died – mixed up in a pile of horses, people. And around them – paparazzi. All that’s needed to complete the composition was a staring crowd. The obvious parallel with the tragic death of Princess Diana caused a wave of contradictory views long before the opening of the park of sadness.
Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park

58 artists worked on the new version of “Tropicana”. Damien Hirst with his fairytale unicorn in formalin also joined their line.

Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park

Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park

Fairy decadence

At the “festival of art, turmoil and primitive anarchism” there was no place for sounding laughing. Grumpy animators and gloomy sellers of bright pink balloons with the inscription “Am I crazy”? Yes, there’s no need to hide your own sociopathy and resentment for life. On the contrary – complain, be sad, because the world is going to hell! If Dismaland hadn’t made up Banksy, Chuck Palannik would have described him in his novel. Or maybe Banksy the mystifier would be dressed as a service worker? The circus is here, the clowns are depressed!

Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park
Sarcastic visual representations were the artists’ response to today’s events. Boats with refugees float along with an abandoned pool, and here came an orca jumping out of the toilet to meet the trainer … Stalls, where children are offered a loan for pocket money at 500%, a carousel with a butcher preparing to cut the horse … And the “50 shades of gray” – the characters of the novel became the characters of a street theater!
Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park
Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park
Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park
A children’s slide from a car dispersing a protest in Belfast or an atomic mushroom – a surreal dream in which the heroes of the news stories mix… This was what Disneyland lookt like in Banksy’s personal anti-utopia.
Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park
Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park
Another cute detail was a cardboard metal detector from Bill Barminski, which welcomed all visitors.
Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park
Attention: entering a Dismaland without self-irony may be harmful to your health!
Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park

The official brochure described this place as follows: “Are you looking for an alternative to soulless lame banality? Or do you just need something cheaper? Then this place is for you: a chaotic, new world where you can get rid of meaningless escapism. Instead of a burger stand, we have a museum. Instead of souvenir shops, we have a library. Although we do have a souvenir shop, too… There will be adult themes, disturbing images, lots of strobe lighting, smoke effects, and swearing. It is strictly forbidden: knives, sprays, illegal drugs and lawyers of Walt Disney Corporation”.

Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park Dismaland: Banksy’s Art Exhibition Inside A Dystopian Theme Park

In all the months that Dismaland was being built, Banksy again managed to stay out of the public eye. About 50 other artists worked on the project, including Damien Hirst, Bill Barminski, Espo, Jenny Holzer, and Polly Morgan. They were kept in touch only with Facebook. But with his hand on the heart, Banksy could have avoided the torment of conspiracy and famous names.

The service personnel recruited at Dismaland deserve special attention. All British media in one voice admired the excellent acting: “They do not smile! If you ask me, they’re just gonna say something!”

Within hours of the press release about the grand opening of Dismaland, media teams arrived in the city from a camp outside of pre-filled Dismaland. Dismaland Banksy attracted 200,000 visitors in 36 days, more than V & A Alexander McQueen and Matisse’s show at Tate the same year.

The high demand for tickets caused the Dismaland website to fall repeatedly. Some have wondered whether this was deliberately set up by Banksy as part of the irony of Dismaland.

Shortly after the installation and within months of being removed, Dismaland was just another spectacle that took place on a map of the art world. The works were taken out and brought to private buyers or alternative exhibitions, and Banksy’s 15-foot banner continues to hang under the burning sun.

 

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