Dismaland: Is Banksy Laughing At Us?

Dismaland: Is Banksy Laughing At Us?

Yesterday at 1:28pm- the day Dismaland tickets were (re)set to go on sale- following several failed attempts of getting onto the website and a quick Twitter search for what was going wrong this time (because strangers on Twitter are of course the fountain of all reputable knowledge), I wrote this:

Let’s get one thing straight, Banksy is laughing at us.

We’re standing in an airport from which no planes are scheduled to leave. We’re opening an empty fridge in search for the food we haven’t actually gone out to buy. Basically, we’re refreshing faster than you can say ‘Where’s the ticket button?’ to no avail yet still we’re more eager than a twelve-year-old girl looking for 1D’s last tour date tickets. 

I then returned to my work, chalked the whole thing up to an appropriately shit website that we should have seen coming a mile off, and planned in my head what I was going to write about it. A few hours later, I realised I was wrong, that the tickets were on sale and now can’t decide whether the whole thing was a double bluff or not. After all, thousands clicking away, most of whom probably shouldn’t have given the tickets coming out at midday on a Tuesday… it paints an amusing picture. The whole point of Dismaland is to scrape off the sugar coating with a blunt fork and leave it on the side to attract ants. We shouldn’t want to go, but we do, we really really do.

It’s saying something about how much we crave blunt reality as opposed to the glittering corporate haze that attempts, and succeeds, in distracting us from harsh truths. Taking Seaworld for instance, who have been under particular scrutiny and criticism of late; the entertainment extravaganza is cracking and there’s a hell of a lot of people holding sledgehammers willing to help the process along. The negligence issue is addressed with a piece in the Bemusement Park showing a whale jumping out of a toilet, through a hoop towards a paddling pool. Brutal.

Even if the website wasn’t purposefully a disaster (twice), the fact remains that Dismaland is a genius example of how hype is generated and how even those not particularly interested in art, clueless as to who the other artists featured in the park are, can be captured by the utterance of the word ‘Banksy’. Get your wellies and your bucket and spade, love, we’re off to Weston-Super-Mare (but actually we’re not because I didn’t get tickets).


Written by Leanne Westbury,


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