Clandestine street artist Banksy opens a theme park like no other. Inside a derelict lido in Weston-super-Mare, Dismaland features migrant boats, a dead princess and Banksy’s trademark dark humour.
It’s an extraordinary, shocking and funny experience from the moment you step through the gates of Dismaland.
A fake security check underlines the fabricated threats Banksy and his collaborators believe we are being guarded against.
Once inside, every piece from more than 50 international artists is a twist on what you’d find in a seaside theme park.
Banksy himself has moved away from graffiti and street art in this exhibition, and instead his pieces are Banksy images rendered in 3-D – from the carousel with a passenger making lasagne from one of the horses, to a distressing piece about the current crisis off the seas of southern Europe, in which remote controlled boats have been taken over by migrants.
I seem to have reached the point where an art show is more interesting the less I’m in it Banksy
Banksy doesn’t do interviews, so we asked him by email why he departed from street art?
He told Channel 4 News “for this show I didn’t deliberately set out to snub street art. I just found other stuff a lot more interesting.
“I mean, we have a lady from a Lithuanian village who does traditional floral embroidery but with a power drill into the sides of cars.
“I seem to have reached the point where an art show is more interesting the less I’m in it.”
The artist has described Dismaland as “a festival of art, amusements and entry level anarchism”,
And the centrepiece of the Dismaland castle will not just outrage the nice people at Disney, but no doubt the legions of fans of Diana, the late Princess of Wales.
Banksy has taken two iconic pieces of imagery and turned them into something that is shocking, evocative and emotional.
Disney’s Cinderella carriage has crashed and is upturned, leaving the princess hanging lifeless from a window. The whole scene is illuminated by a blizzard of flash photography from the surrounding group of paparazzi photographers who were apparently in pursuit on their mopeds.
“It’s a theme park whose big theme is – theme parks should have bigger themes” said Banksy in a press release.
Dismaland opens to the public on Saturday. There will be 4,000 £3 tickets available every day until end of September for this “family theme park unsuitable for small children.”