We know. Banksy’s Dismaland is old news. Even Banksy himself said, “It’s modeled on those failed Christmas parks that pop up every December—where they stick some antlers on an Alsatian dog and spray fake snow on a skip. It’s ambitious, but it’s also crap.” Last we heard, the sold-out exhibit’s broken-down wooden parts have apparently been repurposed to build shelter at the “Jungle,” a refugee camp near the French port town of Calais where it’s reported that more than 6k migrants from Syria, Libya, Iran, and Eritrea stay there, waiting every day for a chance to cross the border to enter the UK (NBC also reported that the “Dismal aid” sign was taken down by aid workers claiming that Banksy’s branded presence at the camp was exploitative).
Whether you loved the “bemusement park” concept, or thought it was was problematically sarcastic (New York Times) or just straight up boring and about nothing (Business Insider) or, in Banksy’s words “ambitious, but also crap” (in a self-conscious, deliberately British way)—the show had something to offer for everyone. For us here at The Hundreds, some of our favorite artists presented challenging work there, like Lee Madgwick who we interviewed earlier this month, Jenny Holzer, and Zaria Forman, whose show Slip was reviewed by Bobby Hundreds last month.
Our good friends from Russia at sneaker/streetwear boutique Kixbox recently sent us exclusive photos by Valeriy Belobeev taken at Dismaland. Through Belobeev’s lens, a day at Dismaland is astonishingly human—a child asleep in a stroller in front of Banksy’s own seagull attack piece, a man drinking from what looks like a sippy cup bottle in line, a couple taking a selfie in front of a family in front of a dilapidated castle. It actually looks WAY more enjoyable than Banksy anticipated. Here they are below in all their dismal glory: