Banksy Unveils World's Most Depressing Theme Park: Dismaland
Not suitable for children.
August 21, 2015
Cinderella horrifically mangled in a pumpkin car crash. Dodgem cars run by the Grim Reaper. Model boat ponds filled with dead bodies. Welcome to Banksy's Dismaland.
Banksy has unveiled his biggest show to date, a family theme park that's highly unsuitable for children, a festival of "art, amusement and entry-level anarchism". Opened on a 2.5 acre site on the Weston-super-Mare seafront in the UK, Banksy's largest project has been kept under wraps for months, until today. According to the Guardian, locals and tourists were convinced the disused '30s lido space was being used for a Hollywood film set — fake crime thriller Grey Fox.
Wander through cardboard airport security and you'll find a frankly terrifying theme park — a huge flip of the bird to Disneyland, even though Banksy banned any imagery of Mickey Mouse on site. Banksy personally selected 58 artists including Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, Julie Burchill, Jimmy Cauty (former KLF) and more, most of whom never met the elusive legend.
The theme park's 'attractions' are another world of messed-up. Banksy's own ten works include Cinderella's pumpkin crashed in a large castle, a grisly recreation of the death of Princess Diana, surrounded by paparazzi (and you get a souvenir photo on the way out, lovely). The Grim Reaper rides the dodgems. There's a Punch and Judy show, rewritten with a nod to Jimmy Saville. Yeesh.
There's a model boat pond, filled with dead bodies and overcrowded asylum seeker boats. There's cute little model village, swarmed by 3000 riot police following civil conflict. There's a Jeffrey Archer Memorial Fire Pit, locked in for daily book burnings, and an armour-plated riot control car used in Northern Ireland, with a slippery dip.
For the kids, there's a 'pocket money loans' shop, handing out sweet sweet junk change with a 5000% interest rate to land them in debt for life. There's an 'advice bureau' where you can buy tools to break into bus stop ads and replace them with propaganda.
"Are you looking for an alternative to the sugar-coated tedium of the average family day out? Or just somewhere a lot cheaper?" says Banksy. "Then this is the place for you. Bring the whole family to come and enjoy the latest addition to our chronic leisure surplus."
Banky's Dismaland is open until September 27. There'll be 4000 tickets available each day at £3 each at dismaland.co.uk.
Via Guardian, Huffington Post, NY Daily News.
Top image: Yui Mok.
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