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Dismaland was a temporary art project organised by street artist Banksy, constructed in the seaside resort town of Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, England. Prepared in secret, the pop-up exhibition at the Tropicana, a disused lido, was "a sinister twist on Disneyland" that opened during the weekend of 21 August 2015 and closed permanently on September 27, 2015, 36 days later. Banksy described it as a "family theme park unsuitable for children."
Banksy created ten new works and funded the construction of the exhibition himself. The show featured 58 artists of the 60 Banksy originally invited to participate. 4,000 tickets were available for purchase per day, priced at £3 each.
Local residents of Weston-super-Mare were told that a Hollywood company called Atlas Entertainment was using the location to film a crime thriller called Grey Fox. Signs proclaiming "Grey Fox Productions" were posted around entrances to the site. Pictures of its construction began surfacing online in early August 2015, and included a "fairy castle and massive sculptures". Holly Cushing, whose name appeared in the credits of a documentary about Banksy and who is often reported to be his manager, was sighted at the construction site before the opening, which contributed to the decline of its status as "secret".
Among the structures photographed prior to the opening were a large pinwheel by Banksy, Horse Scaffolding Sculpture by Ben Long, and a twisted truck sculpture, Big Rig Jig by artist Mike Ross which was previously shown at Burning Man in 2007. Works by 58 artists, including Jenny Holzer, Damien Hirst and Jimmy Cauty were featured in the park. Banksy said he contacted the "best artists I could imagine," to exhibit, with two artists turning him down.
For one exhibit, the books of Jeffrey Archer, Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare, a British novelist and former politician, were burned each day in a fire pit. Every one of the estimate 150,000 visitors to the park entered through a fake cardboard security check point created by artist Bill Barminski.
On Fridays there were scheduled performances by musicians including Run the Jewels, De La Soul, Damon Albarn, and Pussy Riot.
The Astronaut's Caravan
Neta Harari Navon
Paul Insect & BAST
Peter Kennard & Cat Phillips
High demand for tickets to the exhibition caused the Dismaland website to crash repeatedly. Some wondered whether or not this was deliberately contrived by Banksy as part of the irony of the Dismaland experience.
Many celebrities were attracted to the venue, some international, such as Brad Pitt, Jack Black, Nicholas Hoult, Russell Brand, Ant & Dec, Mark Ronson and Daddy G to name a few.
The exhibit had a mixed reception from critics. Jonathan Jones in the Guardian found it depressing: "brings together a lot of bad art by the seaside." Dan Brooks in The New York Times was critical of the easy sarcasm.
The exhibition proved to be popular with visitors, with many prepared to queue for hours each day for one of the 500 daily walk-in tickets. It brought in 150,000 visitors from around the world, boosting the local economy of Weston-super-Mare by £20m.
Info:Information has been fetched from WikiPedia as of Tuesday 27,2016