Inside Dismaland, Banksy’s anti-Disneyland 'bemusement park'

By Lindsay de Freitas
25 August 2015

Elusive UK graffiti artist and political activist, Banksy, has brought to life an apocalyptic and gloomy anti-Disneyland theme park.

plan The massive installation boasts ironic and sartorial art pieces from top contemporary artists. The slogan for the ambitious art installation is “Bemusement Park” and organisers claim that the dystopian theme park will offer 'escape from mindless escapism'.

'It's not a swipe at Disney… I banned any imagery of Mickey Mouse from the site'
  The art installations mimic the attractions at Disneyland but instead of offering enjoyment provide poignant social commentary and satire. Installations include a crash site involving Cinderella and her pumpkin carriage (widely believed to be inspired by the death of Princess Diana) and a sculpture of an orca diving from a toilet into a tiny inflatable pool. Many other social issues are addressed using art at the park; amongst them are the European migration crisis, nuclear bombing and the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
In addition to the art you’ll also find a few functional theme park attractions including a terrifying carousel, a mini golf park and a Ferris wheel. The park is staffed by morose Dismaland employees who, in the spirit dismality, are neither helpful nor informative. The politically outspoken artist who curates the theme park uses the pseudonym Banksy and has never revealed his true identity to the public. He first started out as a guerilla street artist and used his pseudonym merely as a means to not get arrested for what was essentially vandalism.
These days Banksy has built up an impressive repertoire of socially charged art – with Dismaland being his most ambitious effort.  He calls the installation, which was created at a derelict seaside resort in the UK, "a festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism."
But despite the similarities Banksy denies that the park is meant to disparage Disney, "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."

The Dismaland exhibition opened to the public on August 22nd and will run until September 27th.


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