Dismaland: Some Miss The Point Of The Intentionally Miserable Farce


If the reports from varying news agencies are correct then something has gone seriously wrong with Bristol street artist Banksy’s latest dystopic theme-park-work Dismaland – or is that something has gone right?

When the Bristol street artist unveiled his newest and surprising creation, a group show as a biting satire of Disneyland, the art world was amused and in the most part got the joke. But as the Grim Reaper rode the dodgems, something was stirring beneath the surface: an (intentionally?) unsatisfying customer experience to hammer home the point perhaps?

This possibly intentional farce resulted in six million people clogging the website – none of whom managed to buy tickets – and soon the website had crashed. The website then posted a message that it was “currently unable to process online ticket sales”. This message remained on the site for a further three days, and it would seem that the unsatisfying customer experience – something that we should perhaps be used to by now and possibly expect as a highly important component of the intentionally unhappy day out- continued with hundreds of people queuing on opening day under typically black skies, posting disgruntled selfies online.

The obvious question is whether the failure to buy tickets is in fact part of the ‘Dismaland experience’. A possibility that was lost on many. Now the UKBusinessInsider has questioned the functionality of the Dismaland website, perhaps missing the intentional irony and the clue of an upturned shopping trolley on the website.

But the irony was not entirely lost. The BBC reported several reactions to the event: James Bush said, “Love that the #Dismaland website keeps crashing and people are complaining about it. Irony really is lost on some people.” Anthony Hamer-Hodges wrote, “I guess the misery of queuing and a crashing website is part of the satire #Dismaland.” While Phil Cross tweeted: “If you are searching for #Dismaland tickets you are very much part of the exhibition already.”


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