Banksy’s latest project studies ‘amusements and entry-level anarchism’ in a dark Disney-inspired park
Elusive street artist and social commentator Banksy has a new installation of sorts near his hometown of Bristol, England. “Dismaland” will open on today in Weston-super-Mare, and will bear hardly any resemblance to the family-friendly parks with mouse mascots that share a similar name. Dismaland was borne, as many of Banksy’s pieces are, from a desire to comment on materialism and superficiality in Western culture, and because Banksy’s other now-famous street-art works had become “just as reassuringly white, middle class and lacking in women as any other art movement.”
The park will include a derelict castle and feature macabre details including a merry-go-round horse about to be cooked for food (no doubt a reference to a media scare earlier this year about horse meat being sold in grocery stores) and a boat ride atop a pool full of refugees. Photos can even be taken in front of a backdrop depicting a carriage crash and a dead princess. Though the object of Banksy’s scorn in this particular work seems clear, the artist insists that “It’s not a swipe at Disney. I banned any imagery of Mickey Mouse from the site. It’s a showcase for the best line-up of artists I could imagine, apart from the two who turned me down.” Banksy describes his project as “a festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism.
The local government is supportive of Banksy, as his works draw enormous local and international crowds, who in turn stimulate the economy with their presence. In 2009, a Banksy show attracted 300,000 visitors to his hometown. Local North Somerset council leader assured at a press conference that “we were absolutely delighted to have the biggest drawing name in art here. There’s nothing wrong with asking provocative questions.” Banksy maintains his anonymity throughout it all, commenting only that “I guess it’s a theme park whose big theme is – theme parks should have bigger themes.”
The musical lineup isn’t half bad either with DJ Yoda, Peanut BUtter Wolf, Breakbeat Lou, Run the Jewels, Sleaford Mods, Kate Tempest, Pussy Riot and MASSIVE ATTACK, all scheduled to perform over the course of the next month.
H/T: NBC News