Presentation Title

Dismaland

Faculty Mentor

Misty, Kolchakian

Start Date

17-11-2018 9:45 AM

End Date

17-11-2018 10:00 AM

Location

C301

Session

Oral 2

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

creative_arts_design

Abstract

Banksy is an innovative street artist who utilizes his unique skills to create works of art which notable sources such as the Huffington Post have called “a legacy”. While some argue Banksy is not a serious artist because his works lack originality, his anonymity and provocative art style has made him the most reputable street artist in the world. His flare for the satirical is most notably apparent in his 2015 temporary exhibition titled, “Dismaland”, which premiered in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, England. The exhibit not only pokes fun at classic Disney characters and attractions the original theme park has to offer, but also delivers a paramount political and social statement. Some critics praise Banksy for the exhibit while others reprimand him and his exhibit for its lack of originality and overwhelming pessimism. In my essay “Dis(mal)neyland” I argue not only how it is a valid piece of art, but also why it is. Banksy not only provides a town in England with an entertaining exhibit open to the public free of charge, but the benefits surpass the passage of time. According to the Huffington Post, Banksy’s exhibit attracted approximately 150,000 visitors and pumped $26 million into the local economy. In my essay, upon analyzing Banksy’s response when he was asked about his exhibit’s theme, one can infer that he may have been trying to make people realize that there are larger problems in the world by presenting something with substance in the form of something reminiscent of a fairy tale.

Summary of research results to be presented

An article by the Huffington Post titled, “The Lasting Legacy Of Banksy’s Dismaland” relays even though it has been closed down for almost a year, “it’s (Dismaland) still changing everything for (Somerset, England) this town” . Banksy’s “amusement park” affected the town and people for the weeks the park was available to the public, as well as after it closed down. The pool complex used as the stage for his park had been vacant and shut down in the 1930's due to low visitor numbers. Dismaland made a significant difference in the community by not only reviving the abandoned “Tropicana” but also creating a substantial profit that improved the economy to an exceptionally high degree. The economic boom allowed for a new attraction to take Dismalands place called “Funland” , post closing , which continues to attract people today. On the topic of the sinister park’s theme, when asked about the inspiration for Dismaland in an article by Widewalls.com, Banksy relayed , “(...The) big theme is – theme parks should have bigger themes” . Jean Baudrillard, a french philosopher, wrote about Disneyland as one of the main examples of hyperreality, a key concept in understanding contemporary cultural conditions. By presenting the imaginary as more realistic than the reality itself Disneyland draws visitors into the world of escapism and happiness achieved through simulation”. It is speculated Banksy may have been trying to help society realize that there are larger problems in the world by presenting something with substance in an unconventional, but impactful way.

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Nov 17th, 9:45 AM Nov 17th, 10:00 AM

Dismaland

C301

Banksy is an innovative street artist who utilizes his unique skills to create works of art which notable sources such as the Huffington Post have called “a legacy”. While some argue Banksy is not a serious artist because his works lack originality, his anonymity and provocative art style has made him the most reputable street artist in the world. His flare for the satirical is most notably apparent in his 2015 temporary exhibition titled, “Dismaland”, which premiered in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, England. The exhibit not only pokes fun at classic Disney characters and attractions the original theme park has to offer, but also delivers a paramount political and social statement. Some critics praise Banksy for the exhibit while others reprimand him and his exhibit for its lack of originality and overwhelming pessimism. In my essay “Dis(mal)neyland” I argue not only how it is a valid piece of art, but also why it is. Banksy not only provides a town in England with an entertaining exhibit open to the public free of charge, but the benefits surpass the passage of time. According to the Huffington Post, Banksy’s exhibit attracted approximately 150,000 visitors and pumped $26 million into the local economy. In my essay, upon analyzing Banksy’s response when he was asked about his exhibit’s theme, one can infer that he may have been trying to make people realize that there are larger problems in the world by presenting something with substance in the form of something reminiscent of a fairy tale.