Saturday, September 05, 2015

Looking for a Bizarre, Dystopian Theme Park? Meet Banky's Dismaland!

The secretive British artist Banksy has expanded beyond his usual images in public spaces to a full-fledged, 3D "bemusement park": Dismaland. As its name suggests, this installation is no ordinary happy place to take the kids for a lighthearted day out.

A look at the official tour video for Dismaland (below)—which is midway through its five-week run at Weston-super-Mare on the English seaside—shows how the celebrated artist with the often dark look on life addresses many of the dour and dire aspects of the modern world. Fun stuff like a lack of jobs, pollution, global injustice, and more.

The project features art works from more than 50 artists from around the world, such as a pool with remote-control boats loaded with refugees, a dead princess being photographed by paparazzi, and a game called "Hook a Duck from the Muck."

Looking for a souvenir? You can buy a large, black balloon that says, "I am an imbecile." There's even a cheerfully decorated payday-lending booth where kids can borrow against their pocket money (at an exorbitant 5000% interest rate, naturally).

Dismaland looks a bit like Disneyland as reinterpreted by Tim Burton with the viewpoint of one of those people who stands on a street corner holding a sign that reads "The End is Near."

The Dismaland video below from Britain's Channel 4 offers a bit more insight into the "attractions" of Banksy's theme park of modern-day horrors. It's a place where the dreams—or maybe nightmares?--never end.