I went to Dismaland 3 weeks ago, and it was so good I went back again last week. There’s so much to see and do for such a relatively small space, it’s definitely worth the £5 entrance fee!
When you first go in, you’re confronted with a very aggressive security team. I was told off for having blue hair, and I was also told I had to stop smiling or I wouldn’t be allowed in. It’s surprisingly difficult to keep a straight face when someone is glaring at you until you stop smiling.
We queued up to go inside the run-down looking castle to find a pumpkin coach crash, with a princess being photographed by paparazzi. She looked like Cinderella, but I’m not convinced that it wasn’t actually supposed to represent Diana.
The art galleries featured thought-provoking works by lots of artists from around the world, including Damien Hirst, Dietrich Wegner and Jenny Holzer. My favourite piece was Wegner’s mushroom cloud tree house, it was as beautifully ethereal as it was dark.
The Museum Of Cruel Objects was a sinister look into things that were made to hurt you. Things which have been designed with the sole purpose of hurting or controlling the masses include anti-homeless spikes, tear gas, CCTV and body-worn workplace surveillance devices. Whilst most of the exhibits in the park had an element of fun to go with the deeper message behind it, this was very hard-hitting.
Around the park there were lots of attractions and fairground style games which you could play. My personal favourite was Topple The Anvil, where you could pay £2 for 3 balls to throw at an anvil. If it fell over, you could keep it. Although it was an obvious middle finger up to traditional seaside and fairground games, people were still getting involved. They were never going to win the anvil, and if by some miracle they did – how were they going to get it home?!
When it came to the end of the visit, you of course had to Exit Through The Gift Shop. I’m sure it goes against the anti-consumerism message of the whole Dismaland concept, but I couldn’t resist buying a T-shirt!
In conclusion, Banksy proves once again that he is a genius.