Almost two years after Banksy left his mark on the streets and walls of New York City with his 31 Day Residency, he’s taken on another large-scale project in his home country. On the site of an abandoned resort on the coast of England at Weston-super-Mare, Banksy has created Dismaland: Bemusement Park, with the appropriately depressing tagline: The UK’s Most Disappointing New Visitor Attraction.” It opened today to locals only, and thereafter tickets can be purchased online up to 10 days in advance (if the website isn’t down), with some limited tickets available each day at the door.
The homepage of Dismaland’s website asks the visitor,” Are you looking for an alternative to the sugar-coated tedium of the average family day out? Or just somewhere a lot cheaper? Then this is the place for you. Bring the whole family to come and enjoy the latest addition to our chronic leisure surplus…” Banksy himself says, ““I guess you’d say it’s a theme park whose big theme is – theme parks should have bigger themes.”
With the feel of an abandoned amusement park, not to dissimilar to Terra Encantada in Rio de Janeiro which has its own derelict Disney-esque castle as the centerpiece, Dismaland is a showcase for “the best artists” Banksy could imagine, including works by Damien Hirst, ESPO, and 56 others, and a few pieces by Banksy himself: The Grim Reaper as seen in the NYC Residency and other works like a Cinderella Crash Scene.
The art website Colossal has photographs from inside Dismaland from before the opening, as a contribution from Christopher Jobson who curated a program of films for the outdoor cinema. He reports that there are a few rides, interactive art exhibitions, performances, even a concert by Pussy Riot and Massive Attack on September 25th.
Next, check out photos from all 31 Days of Banksy’s New York City Residency.