The Bemusement Park by Banksy and friends in the old lido on Weston-super-Mare’s front.
There was no queueing nightmare (20 mins but it had been pissing it down all day until then) and for £3 (cash only) we joined the eclectic bunch of people wandering round the dystopian theme park. It was brilliant, provocative, whimsical, moving, funny. Though perhaps my favourite moment was when the woman on the Comrade’s Advice Bureau’s stand said, “We are a real organisation, not one of the artworks.”
We had a great time, there are lots of different artists, works and installations, it was as fun as any theme park I’ve been to and I didn’t get the art-brain-freeze I usually get after a couple of rooms in a gallery. To describe any would spoil the experience.
There were only two lows.
The art world needs to get it’s head round the fact that people on the door dressed as security guards/police acting grumpy and aggressive is now a site specific cliche. I know this fitted the show’s dismal corporate theme, but next time I am confronted by a recently qualified drama student trying to make me feel uncomfortable for the privilege of seeing their show, I’ll probably deck them.
On the way out, I headed towards the Gift Shop intrigued to see how this anti-capitalist, subversion of a visitor attraction would subvert the conventional fleecing at the exit. I was disappointed to find the art and politics ended with the invitation to part with £40 for a Dismaland hoodie.
I don’t think the picture above is from Dismaland but it could be, it’s a few yards up the beach, like the Comrade’s Advice Bureau stand, real, not one of the artworks.