Banksy Offers Take on Disneyland With 'Dismaland'

Banksy’s version of Disneyland isn’t exactly the happiest place on Earth.  The famed artist has been secretly assembling a dystopian version and a sinister twist of the theme park titled Dismaland, which will remain open for the next five weeks in the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare, U.K. 

The artist’s biggest project to date had been shrouded in secrecy. Local residents and curious tourists were led to believe that the installations being built in a disused former lido called Tropicana were part of a film set for a Hollywood crime thriller called Grey Fox.

 

Grey-Fox-Disney

In the statement on the council’s website Banksy said, “I loved the Tropicana as a kid, so getting to throw these doors open again is a real honour.”

Visitors can have a souvenir photo taken in Cinderella's Castle against a backdrop of a dead princess in a coach crash surrounded by paparazzi, while surly stewards carry bunches of balloons labelled "I'm an imbecile".

 

In one fairground game, visitors can steer miniature boats full of asylum seekers around a pond.

Dismaland also  includes a contemporary art gallery; a “gothic sculpture park” housed in a tent; a bonfire where books by the much-maligned novelist Jeffrey Archer, a local lord, will be incinerated daily; and an “oil caliphate themed” mini-golf course. Artists whose work is showing include Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer and David Shrigley. A number of musicians, including Kate Tempest and members of Pussy Riot, will perform concerts during Dismaland’s five-week run.

Described as a “festival of art,” the exhibition will open on Saturday and run until September 27, from 11am until 11pm.  Visitors will take in the exhibition’s main attraction, a Disney-style castle, surrounded by palm trees, a carousel and other amusements for a £3 entry fee.

-Devashree Goenka