Banksy: Dismaland & Beyond

sherbetbizarre

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Graffiti artist Banksy has announced an exhibition at a derelict seafront lido in Weston-super-Mare.

The Dismaland show - which will also feature work from Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer and Jimmy Cauty - will take over the Tropicana site for six weeks.

The show is his first in the UK since 2009's Banksy v Bristol Museum show which drew huge crowds.

Banksy described the show as a "family theme park unsuitable for children".
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-33999495

disma-8.jpg


In addition to art there are a few rides, completely impossible fair games, interactive artworks, random live performances and unexpected spectacles happening throughout the day. The entire exhibition is staffed by morose Dismaland employees who seem completely uninterested in being helpful or informative. Even trying to find the exit was a near herculean effort.
http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2015/08/dismaland/

Only £3 entry!
http://www.dismaland.co.uk/

disma-3.jpg
 

McAvennie

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I couldn't imagine anything worse than a day there among the self-satisfied hip crowd it will attract.
 

Analogue Boy

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I can't wait to go. It looks like an ideal holiday trip for me. A cynical and darkly satirical theme park? Perfect!
 

Ringo

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I couldn't imagine anything worse than a day there among the self-satisfied hip crowd it will attract.
I agree. There's only so much indictment and self-smugness that I can handle. I find his graffitti stuff to be very "A-level student". Oh look, a tea bag drying on a police truncheon.
 

Ulalume

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Yeah, I can't imagine anything improving on the superbly creepy atmosphere of an abandoned amusement park anyway.
 

Graylien

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I agree. There's only so much indictment and self-smugness that I can handle. I find his graffitti stuff to be very "A-level student". Oh look, a tea bag drying on a police truncheon.
But if you went, you could try and smuggle some fake art in and see if anyone notices the difference. Personally, I'd put on a high viz jacket and set up a stand raffling Gollywogs and enjoy watching the hipsters try to figure out if they're ironic or just offensive. Or possibly I'd sell helium balloons with David Cameron's head on them.
 

Mythopoeika

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Will there be any ice creams ? .. and what's a Weston Super Mare ?
The 'Super Mare' title obviously tells you that the place is a bit of a 'mare.
 

Analogue Boy

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I agree. There's only so much indictment and self-smugness that I can handle. I find his graffitti stuff to be very "A-level student". Oh look, a tea bag drying on a police truncheon.

Hear hear! It's for this very reason I avoid all museums, galleries, and any form of cultural or creative enrichment because I know I'm sharing a space with other people who don't get it quite as well as what I do. Other people suck and I refuse to seek any enjoyment or stimulation in the same physical space as them.
 

Ringo

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Hear hear! It's for this very reason I avoid all museums, galleries, and any form of cultural or creative enrichment because I know I'm sharing a space with other people who don't get it quite as well as what I do. Other people suck and I refuse to seek any enjoyment or stimulation in the same physical space as them.
Well that's not what I meant though was it. I said that Banksy's work doesn't speak to me. I don't find it thought provoking and I think he tries too hard to be clever. But if others enjoy it, then all power to them. I'm a performing artist and don't expect everyone to enjoy my work either. Art is such a personal thing. I've had some of my best experiences in galleries and exhibitions but this just doesn't do it for me.
 

Analogue Boy

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Well that's not what I meant though was it. I said that Banksy's work doesn't speak to me. I don't find it thought provoking and I think he tries too hard to be clever. But if others enjoy it, then all power to them. I'm a performing artist and don't expect everyone to enjoy my work either. Art is such a personal thing. I've had some of my best experiences in galleries and exhibitions but this just doesn't do it for me.

Annoyingly, art is one of those things where everyone is allowed to have an opinion... whether they have any knowledge of the subject or not. It makes my job more difficult for sure.
The thing about the reported huge queues for Dismaland and (as I'm sure will happen) tickets of £3 being touted and changing hands for much larger sums is probably part of the wider statement being made here. Also, I think there has to be an understanding that those viewing the piece are also part of the piece. Very clever.
 

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I'm with gralien's idea of art bombing him back to see how he deals with it .. an ace idea.
 

Analogue Boy

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Or just set up a stall of tat in front of the entrance.
'Entry Through the Gift Shop'.
 

Swifty

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An art installation pic from Dismaland

banksybirds.jpg
 

stu neville

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^^ That's not in the exhibition. That's along the sea-front.

Banksy's been able to do no wrong for ages now - I can remember when his first stencils started popping up, twenty or so years ago in south and east Bristol, visible for a day or two before the council's graffiti squad eradicated them with maximum prejudice. Then, seemingly overnight, they stopped doing that and started lauding him instead, and as a result good quality street art here is positively encouraged - there are tours, contests, the lot, and some of it is awesome (good selection here - some of the Nelson Street stuff is 70 feet high and striking in real life.) It's got to the point where good stuff actually adds to the property values.

As for Banksy himself, I did go and see his exhibition at the city museum a few years back, and really enjoyed it, but I happily admit not all of his stuff does it for me. Dismaland is a nice bit of observation though, with a murky bit of background: the venue, formerly Weston Lido (latterly the Tropicana) was a well-used and good quality facility: Weston has notorious tides, which go out for miles, so if people wish to swim or paddle the Lido was the obvious choice (there was an indoor pool at the other end of the beach, now luxury flats for some reason not to do with planning consents in the slightest.) The Lido/Tropicana only closed because the owning company went bankrupt. The council, who had the option to take over the operation for a song, for some reason didn't do so and it's remained shut ever since. There have been various applications from private firms to reopen it, each one refused by the council, who two years ago announced they were going to demolish it (luckily this was challenged and they backed down.) Another firm, with money, applied to reopen it. Refused. Meanwhile the council's own pool is two miles inland, hard to get to, and has nothing to do with back-handers or nest-feathering on the part of the local authority (nor is the helicopter museum a mile or two further inland, which has done quite well in grants and planning decisions passim, and is purely by coincidence owned and run by the..erm..deputy leader of the council..) Banksy's a local boy, about my age, and will know all of this. So perhaps there's more of a point than North Somerset council would like to acknowledge.
 

Mythopoeika

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I'm struggling to know how Banksy made any money in the early days, before he was famous.
He's only really made any serious money relatively recently, AFAIK.
 

Graylien

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Weston Super Mare has a helicopter museum? Wow.
 

stu neville

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Weston used to have a great deal going on - in the 60s and 70s it had two piers, the lido, tons of pubs, restaurants, hotels, arcades, a model village, the Winter Gardens, a little zoo, waxworks (hilariously terrible)... but since the late eighties it's concentrated on becoming a town that doesn't have to depend on tourism - people can get a fortnight in Alicante or wherever for the same price with guaranteed good weather and a tide that doesn't retreat for a mile over the mudflats. As a town it knows that what's left looks a bit seedy - apart from the pier, rebuilt after the fire, which does a good trade - so what it did was expand massively inland, becoming second to Bristol in population a while ago, overtaking Bath, and serves as a dormitory for the former. It does still have a loyal fanbase for holidays though, and the surrounding countryside is lovely. I'm very fond of it, especially in the winter - it has that splendid bleakness.
 

Swifty

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I'm struggling to know how Banksy made any money in the early days, before he was famous.
He's only really made any serious money relatively recently, AFAIK.

He was possibly outed as a posh public school boy called Robin (or Robert) by a journalist from The Guardian a few years back (with photos) although that's never been officially confirmed. I suppose he's so popular now, nobody, especially those who own his original art works want to dissect the goose that's laid the golden eggs. So he probably has a background in being able to feed himself anyway.
 

Mythopoeika

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That's the thing. Most of these artists start out rich.
 

ramonmercado

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Wonder if he'll get hassle from Disney? The Mouse goes after the slightest perceived infringement of their trademarks.
 

Ulalume

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He was possibly outed as a posh public school boy called Robin (or Robert) by a journalist from The Guardian a few years back (with photos) although that's never been officially confirmed. I suppose he's so popular now, nobody, especially those who own his original art works want to dissect the goose that's laid the golden eggs. So he probably has a background in being able to feed himself anyway.

I saw a documentary to this effect some years ago - about UK graffiti artists being at war with Banksy in the early days and how Banksy stole his rat stencils from a guy in Paris or some such thing...
I can't remember where I saw this though.

But you know some artists, they are always putting each other down. It's hard to know the truth.
 

Mythopoeika

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I really can't imagine a talented artist stealing somebody else's stencils.
 

Mythopoeika

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Wonder if he'll get hassle from Disney? The Mouse goes after the slightest perceived infringement of their trademarks.
Also the Dismaland logo:

image.jpg


ff8d3e93edcb03b2211250647d4b2de4.jpg
 

Swifty

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Plastic Bansky created rat stencils were once given away as a free gift with copies of Bizzare magazine before he became really famous. I'm kicking myself for not hanging on to them, they're probably pretty valuable by now.
 

GNC

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I saw a documentary to this effect some years ago - about UK graffiti artists being at war with Banksy in the early days and how Banksy stole his rat stencils from a guy in Paris or some such thing...
I can't remember where I saw this though.

But you know some artists, they are always putting each other down. It's hard to know the truth.

It's from Banksy's own documentary film Exit Through the Gift Shop, which may have been a hoax or at least heavily embellished. The French guy "Mr Brainwash" seems to be a real person, mind you.
 

Swifty

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New Dismaland corporate style advertisement ..

 
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