Poking fun and putting a dark spin on consumer culture is nothing new for Banksy. From The Village Pet Shop And Charcoal Grill in 2008, to 2013’s Ronald McDonald shoe shine, among others, the artist has long used surreal yet familiar imagery and juxtaposition to create thought-provoking or just plain funny installations. His latest, though, takes things to a rather magical level.
Welcome to Dismaland, “a festival of art, amusements, and entry-level anarchism” that will be happening for five days in the coastal town of Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, England. The “bemusement park” features art and installations from a wide range of artists, including Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, and ESPO, and will also have concerts from Run the Jewels, Massive Attack, Pussy Riot, and more.
It’s the artist’s first big show in England since 2009’s Banksy v Bristol Museum, and it’s been shrouded in impressively complex layers of secrecy prior to launch. Locals had been told the site had been closed off for the past several months for a Hollywood film shooting there called Grey Fox, produced by Atlas Entertainment and directed by Declan Whitebloom, that even had its own IMDb page.
Exhibits include a derelict Cinderella castle, the Grim Reaper riding a bumper car to the Bee Gees’ “Staying Alive, and Water Cannon Creek, “an armor-plated riot control vehicle built to serve on the streets of Northern Ireland. Equipped with sniper posts, grenade launchers, and now–a children’s slide.”
Check out more photos here.