After five weeks, Banksy’s “bemusement park” art exhibit, Dismaland, is closing permanently. What’s more, the anonymous artist announced on Dismaland’s website that the structures and material from the park will be sent to a refugee camp in France.
The short announcement read, “All the timber and fixtures from Dismaland are being sent to the ‘jungle’ refugee camp near Calais to build shelters. No online tickets will be available.”
Some 5,000 displaced people are camped out in and around the French port there, NPR’s Leila Fadel reports from London.
Here’s more from Leila:
“The park was billed as the U.K.’s most disappointing tourist attraction, and it was built purposely gloomy. Banksy, the anonymous English graffiti artist, said it was a family attraction that acknowledges inequality and impending catastrophe.
“But tonight it closes its doors. … It sold out every day it was open and some 150,000 people visited in the five-week run.”
Featuring work from more than 50 artists from around the world, the exhibit’s installations included a dead Cinderella and a grim reaper in a bumper car. Banksy called the dark theme park a “festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism.”
As we previously reported for the Two-Way, the show was characterized by the subversive work for which Banksy is known. Other exhibits showed “a woman on a bench being attacked by seagulls, a killer whale emerging from a toilet to jump though a hoop, and an oil caliphate-themed mini golf course.”
“In the October issue of Juxtapoz, Banksy writes that the atmosphere of the park is that of a ‘neglected prison yard.’ It’s a ‘deadly serious attempt to assemble a show that takes stock of its generation,’ he writes.
“Set in a former pool yard compound, he says, the show is ‘scrappy, incoherent and self-obsessed, so maybe we’re halfway there.’
“While the name Dismaland is parodied from Disneyland, Banksy says the show isn’t meant to target Disney. He even banned anything Mickey-related from the website. What the show is supposed to be is an ‘art show for the 99 percent who would rather not be at an art show.’ ”
The park also pointed to Europe’s migrant crisis, with an installation showing a boat packed with migrants floating on a pond. Now, with park materials going to the refugee camp, the art will provide more concrete aid.