DISMALAND, WHERE SADNESS MEETS CONFUSION
So, what’s Banksy’s heritage? What does he wanna leave to us after years of war (with a spray can)? His apparent spiritual testament lies in Dismaland, a far too evident word pun for a park intended to exist without any amusement.There’s someone who says it is the mixture of all his theories, or the nauseating self-congratulation of his mediatic genius, or again the dismal
(pun intended) taste of a sadist.
First, let’s examine the location: Weston-super-Mare is a small village on the southwest English coast, which has everything the average family on a holiday hopes to avoid. It is like a zombie-ridden Brighton (with the oldsters as the zombies), like Santa Monica being abandoned for 100 years, a place that no random person in their right mind could ever attend.58 artists have collaborated with Banksy to complete the park, sharing with a worldwide public artworks like Jimmy Cauty’s scale model of an hypothetic post-riot society, formed only by policemen, or like a horses’ carousel, which actually is a harrowing transformation from a horse to a lasagna, ending – inside the crumbling version of Disneyland castle – with an upside-down Cinderella trapped in a wrecked carriage, lit up by several camera flashlights.
The doubt that strikes me, as should be the case for others, is what actually Banksy wants to pass on to us with Dismaland. It can’t be his heritage, after all it’s only a 5-week artistic installation…
it looks more like events such as Cans Festival or Rats, intended as a phase of a bigger plan.
Self-defining itself as a “bemusement park”, Dismaland doesn’t cause despair, but discomfort, confusion, a sour smile, invites to meditate, and I have the sinister worry that who doesn’t ponder on what he has seen will be somehow absorbed by the park and his sinister outline.
The park is a peaceful place in which a consciousness has to be armed to survive, whose message is completely different from the advertised one. Maybe Banksy had planned it all,
to confuse us, to raise our awareness, waiting for his next sally.