Dismaland Bemusement Park, a dismal amusement park created by the anonymous street artist Banksy hosted a brilliant international art exhibition with over 50 artists from 17 nations.
Dismaland, defined by Banksy as a “family theme park unsuitable for children” is a different kind of art exhibition. Banksy, the artist and curator, confronts the viewer with dismal, disturbing, real-life content that is displayed in an interactive amusement park. This contrast between the miserable and enjoyable creates a very powerful experience. The viewers find themselves enjoying a carousel ride with a butcher next to a slaughtered horse; playing with remote control boats of refugees with dead people in the water; smiling to a camera for a souvenir photo as paparazzi with a dead princess (Cinderella / Diana) right after her fatal accident; happily trying to fish rubber ducks from a pool after an oil spill; and many more examples. This is the genius of it – very dismal, but everyone enjoys it. A shocking experience that remains for a long time.
Within the amusement park, stands a circus tent with a sign above its entrance that says: THE SLEEP OF REASON. Baranga’s “Untitled Feast” is exhibited on a round table in the center of the tent.
The work consists of dozens of tableware pieces: cups, teapots, sugar bowls and piles of plates from which human fingers and mouths emerge. In this combination of the still and the alive joined as one, Baranga attempts to change the way in which we observe useful tableware. The useful, passive, tableware can now be perceived as an active object, aware of itself and its surroundings – responding to it.
On the table in the center of the tent, the pieces interact with each other, as if leaning towards each other, possibly feeding each other, escaping or following one another or simply remaining alone.
In the tent, around the table, there are 10 chairs. Around the chairs are sculptures of creatures and beasts, including Damien Hirsts’ Unicorn, Dorcas Caseys’ Beasts, Scott Hoves’ Cakeland series and Banksys’ Rabbit in a Hat. The tent can be seen as an historical freak show tent. An installation in which the creatures and beasts gather for a feast around the table, but the tableware is busy with itself. Like a story within a story
Tue – Thu
By appointment only
11:00 – 16:00
11:00 – 14:00