Monday, August 24, 2015

Banksy's Dismaland

Entering Dismaland involved being questioned by very grumpy security guard who told you to look into a CCTV camera and asked a set of random questions. I was asked what flavour of crisps (chips) I'd just been eating! The staff are delightfully obnoxious, all part of Banksy's elaborate critique of modern Britain.

Once inside the outdoor area (which I once remembered going to as a child to swim) one is met with the cheesiest of piped music, rude annoucenments made in that 'Barbie voice' we are all familiar with and a scene of chaos and anarchy. 

There is much that could be said about the work exhibited here but I'll limit it to the following:

  • Protest is refreshing especially when it's witty, clever and incisive. Much of the work here was exactly that.
  • Much of the work was commenting on environmental issues and also critiqing neo-liberal politics which have dominated in the last 30 years. These were engaging and fun for all ages!  
Josh Keyes' paintings were a fascinating medley of modern images of apocalyptic doom and traditional horror motifs.

Banksy's refugee filled model boats bobbing around a small boating pool flanked by models of the white cliffs of Dover were a chilling comment on events unfolding in the news.

Jimmy Cauty followed in a similar vein with his vision of urban civil unrest depicted in a vast model landscape.

Jeff Gillette's haunting paintings of decaying funfares mixed technicolor Disney style landscapes of mounds of detritus.

I thoroughly recommend the trip to Weston-s-Mare to see this show. Part of the fun of all this is to imagine the great and good of the art industry making their way to this small seaside town, not the usual hangout.

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