BY KATE REINHOLD
Popular European graffiti artist Banksy has once again caught the attention of the masses after announcing his most recent art project, Dismaland Bemusement Park, labeled by its website as “The UK’s most disappointing new visitor attraction!”
Banksy’s street art is known for its statements against capitalism, mass media and the government. Dismaland is no different.
The attraction is an obvious mockery of Disneyworld, the happiest place on earth, as well of one of the clearest representations of capitalism in the world.
Dismaland boasts such attractions as a dilapidated version of Cinderella’s castle, giant rainbow pinwheels with trash stuck in them and an overall feeling of mediocrity. The employees sulk around and do not help attendees, while a museum and a library are featured, as well as a gift shop.
Banksy should be commended, but not necessarily for the statement he is making; we have heard his message time and time again, but he should be commended for his massive collaboration on this particular undertaking. 58 artists from around the world came together to contribute their artistic minds and their actual artworks to the massive interactive project.
It is a wonderful thing to see so many people of different backgrounds and perspectives come together to spread a universal message. Banksy also used his fame to spotlight many lesser-known artists and give them the recognition he believes they deserve.
The attraction also achieved great success. Tickets were originally being sold online, but the website crashed because of the large number of people trying to buy tickets, and the attraction was forced to sell tickets exclusively at the door.
People speculated that the issues with ticket sales, as well as the long lines day after day, were a part of the overall feeling the park was meant to instill in its visitors.
There was no surprise that people flocked to this one of a kind attraction, since it was only open for 36 days. 150,000 visitors came from all over the world to experience Dismaland, and tickets sold out everyday that it was open.
While Banksy’s Mouse-trosity was impressive enough as is, it is what he did with the materials after that is truly praiseworthy. The structures of the theme park are currently being disassembled and the materials from them will be sent to Calais, France to build shelters to house the many Syrian refugees seeking housing there during our current refugee crisis.
This was a great way for Banksy to show that he is a man of action, and not just symbolism. Seeing an artist like him act on what they believe rather than just make statements about it was great. Banksy will make an actual physical difference in the lives of refugees who are struggling to survive right now.
However, it is a bit ironic that something created to embody the feeling of mediocrity ended up being so extraordinary in more ways than one.