Banksy’s latest art exhibition ‘Dismaland Bemusement Park’ is coming to the end of its five week lifespan. Situated in the seaside town of Wester-Super-Mare, the bemusement park aimed to provide an alternate perspective to the otherwise sparkling, shiny distraction that is provided by theme parks today. The park itself was home to pieces from over 50 artists, including Bill Barminski, Caitlin Cherry and Banksy himself.
As well as art exhibitions, the park also hosted a number of music performances including post-punk four piece Savages, local duo Massive Attack and a finale performance from Russian punk feminist group, Pussy Riot. However, Banky’s exhibition will not quietly disappear into the sunset, much to the dismay of its rival theme parks. Dismaland will be moving to Calais, where it will be dismantled and used to build shelter for migrants. It is reported that there are currently over 5,000 migrants seeking refuge in the Calais area.
Programmes from the exhibition, that are sold exclusively within Dismaland only, Banksy has written an opening letter to its visitors, in which he defines the purpose and meaning of his exhibition. “I’ve dreamed of installing a theme park on this site ever since I walked past he building six months ago and peered through a gap in the fence. But this is not your average sugar-coated fantasyland selling scrapings from the Hollywood floor. No, we couldn’t afford the licence for that”.
He continued, adding that, instead this is an attempt to build a different kind of family day out – one that sends a more appropriate message to the next generations – sorry kids. Sorry about the lack of meaningful jobs, global injustice and Channel 5. The fairytale is over, the world is sleepwalking towards climate catastrophe, maybe all that escapism will have to wait”.
The bemusement park attracted over an astonishing 200,000 visitors from all over the world, earned over £20 million for local businesses and revenue and sold over ten million portions of fish and chips.