Banksy. The artist we love not to know has just revealed his self-proclaimed “most disappointing new visitor attraction”, Dismaland. This apocalyptic Disney-esque bemusement park is now open to the public for the next five weeks, between 22nd of August and the 27th of September, at an abandoned swimming resort in Weston-Super-Mare.
The park preaches ideas of anti-consumerism and anti-capitalism. It’s brochure contains the following message:
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.
Apart from the scattering of rides, impossible fairground games, interactive artwork and live performances the park is staffed by reluctant employees in neon pink vests. Entrance to the theme park requires a ferociously awkward NSA type screening and the exit is nigh on impossible to find.
Film screenings include the talent works of Santiago Grasso & Patricio Plaza, Kirsten Lepore, The Mercadantes, Ze Frank, Adrien M. & Claire B., Black Sheep Films, and Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared (a bizarre personal favourite of mine).
The park is host to artwork from a range of artists, not only Banksy, such as Damien Hirst, Bill Barminski, Caitlin Cherry, Polly Morgan, Josh Keyes, Mike Ross, David Shrigley, Bäst, and Espo.
Before it shuts down, make sure to go out to this incredible, thought-provoking “family theme park unsuitable for children”.