Being asked to write about Art for Nitelife Magazine, my first thought was, ‘Yes! Let’s do it!’ With my second being, ‘what the hell am I going to write about?’ And as if the creative Gods were listening, who should appear on my newsfeed – on everyone’s newsfeed, on t.v, in newspapers, and on small screen media – none other than the incomparable Bansky.
Now, I don’t think I need to explain or elaborate on what’s been going on in the seaside resort town of Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, England, to anyone. I’m pretty sure, and hope, that most readers have at least an idea; how wonderful to say that about a pop-up Art exhibition.
It’s got me all excited and giddy that the general public knows and has interest, not just the elite connoisseurs, renowned artists, budding student artists, semi-professionals, and gallery goers, but everyone, no matter their stance in the art world, are excited about Dismaland.
People from all over the world know about it!
Bansky! What have you done?
I must admit, in recent times, I’ve felt myself become quite jaded and a bit disappointed about the contemporary Art world, not that there’s a lack, but that the interest and the enthusiasm of the public just isn’t there. I was beginning to feel that perhaps Art had just become a little dated. But boy, I have been pleasantly proven wrong.
With 58 other world renowned artists – according to Bansky, “the best” he could think to ask – he curated Dismaland: a satirical theme-park themed pop-up exhibition, addressing social issues such as consumerism, commercialism, refugees, domestic violence, animal cruelty, ecological issues, and politics; even the death of Princess Diana is depicted through a blatantly obvious, but nevertheless, unsettling and strong installation of Cinderella’s crashed pumpkin carriage and horses, with poor Cinderella hanging limply out the window surrounded by paparazzi and their flashing cameras.
It goes without saying that there is something for everyone. One of my favourites is the pond with two remote control toy boats, both filled with asylum seekers. Viewers are encouraged to play with the controls of the boats – many times left in the hands of children who, of course, don’t quite grasp the weight of the message and are left crashing the boats into each other. Considering the current situation the world is facing with Syrian refugees, this piece is profound in its message.
There is far more than I have space to mention in Dismaland. There is also a series of events throughout the duration of the exhibition including a Pussy-Riot show and Massive Attack on September 25th. Who wouldn’t want to get their hands on a ticket to this bizarre collaboration of demented and beautiful works by artists such as: Damien Hirst, Mike Ross, Caitlin Cherry, Bill Borminski, Bäst, Polly Morgan and, of course, Bansky; the list just goes on and on!
God, I could write volumes about Dismaland, but what I’m really amazed by is Bansky, and how he hit the nail on the head so precisely, and somehow made art exciting again to the masses. Now, when I mention I’ve studied fine Art, instead of the average eye roll and ‘what will you do with that?’ style response, there’s now a little more intrigue.
He’s made Art accessible and approachable again. Now, of course, I don’t speak for anyone but myself, and like I said, as I went through college, I definitely became more and more jaded and a bit lost to the art world. I didn’t know who I should be making Art for – Me? The Viewer? Who’s the Viewer? Society? What Society?
Bansky has proven that the viewers are there, that the interest is there, and that the excitement is definitely still there. He has proven that Art, most certainly, is not yet obsolete! So love him or hate him, you’ve really got to give it to the guy, or lady I guess (unsure emoticon) he knows what he’s doing . . . And maybe, who knows, maybe is one of this era’s greats.