Tag Archives: humor

Welcome to Dismaland: A First Look at Banksy’s New Art Exhibition Housed Inside a Dystopian Theme Park [Updated 8/22]

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

WESTON-SUPER-MARE — Inside the walls of a derelict seaside swimming resort in Weston-super-Mare, UK, mysterious construction over the last month—including a dingy looking Disney-like castle and a gargantuan rainbow-colored pinwheel tangled in plastic—suggested something big was afoot. Suspicion and anticipation surrounding the unusual activity attributed to fabled artist and provocateur Banksy has reached a Willy Wonka-esque fervor. Well, if Banksy’s your bag, continue fervoring. If not, there’s more than a few reasons to continue reading.

The spectacle has since been revealed to be a pop-up art exhibition in the form of an apocalyptic theme park titled Dismaland (“The UK’s most disappointing new visitor attraction”) that will be open to the public for five weeks.

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal / CLICK FOR DETAIL

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Dismaland legend

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Dismaland brochure / Park aerial view courtesy Upfest / Photo of construction

The event has all the hallmark details of a traditional Banksy event from its initial shroud of secrecy to artistic themes of apocalypse, anti-consumerism, and pointed social critiques on celebrity culture, immigration, and law enforcement. However, there’s one major deviation: the bulk of the artwork packed into three main interior galleries was created by dozens of other artists.

So just what’s hidden inside the walls of this derelict seaside resort? A demented assortment of bizarre and beautiful artworks from no less than 58 global artists including Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, Jimmy Cauty, Bill Barminski, Caitlin Cherry, Polly Morgan, Josh Keyes, Mike Ross, David Shrigley, Bäst, and Espo. Banksy is also showing 10 artworks of his own.

Dismaland features a cavalcade of artists featured here on Colossal over the last few years including pieces by Escif, Maskull Lasserre, Kate McDowell, Paco Pomet, Dietrich Wegner, Michael Beitz, Brock Davis, Ronit Baranga, and others.

Here’s some text from the event’s official brochure:

Are you looking for an alternative to the soulless sugar-coated banality of the average family day out? Or just somewhere cheaper. Then this is the place for you—a chaotic new world where you can escape from mindless escapism. Instead of a burger stall, we have a museum. In place of a gift shop we have a library, well, we have a gift shop as well.

Bring the whole family to come and enjoy the latest addition to our chronic leisure surplus—a bemusement park. A theme park who’s big theme is: theme parks should have bigger themes…

This event contains adult themes, distressing imagery, extended use of strobe lighting, smoke effects and swearing. The following items are strictly prohibited: knives, spraycans, illegal drugs, and lawyers from the Walt Disney corporation.

In addition to art you’ll also find functional a terrifying carousel, a mini golf park, a ferris wheel, and some ludicrously impossible fair games (like ‘topple the anvil with a ping pong ball’ by David Shrigley), roving occupy protests, and a Star Wars stormtrooper who sulks around the exhibition in a state of complete misery. The park is staffed by morose Dismaland employees who are uninterested in being helpful or remotely informative. Entrance to the event requires an uncomfortably awkward NSA-esque security screening, and of course you get to exit through the gift shop.

Just a quick fun note, I had the honor of helping curate a small part of Dismaland: a program of 24 short films shown on a massive outdoor cinema that will play on a loop day and night. Films include shorts by Santiago Grasso & Patricio Plaza, Kirsten Lepore, The Mercadantes, Ze Frank, Adrien M. & Claire B., Black Sheep Films, and Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared.

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Dismaland is open to the public from August 22 through September 27th, 2015 and information about pre-booked and at-the-gate tickets is available here. There’s also a series of events including a show by Pussy Riot and Massive Attack on September 25th.

I think it goes without saying, but if you have the means, get to the UK.

Update: This post has been updated to include additional imagery, clarification, and other small corrections.

Update 2: We understand that there is difficulty with ticketing at the moment, but unfortunately this publication is not associated with the event directly. Please keep an eye on the official Dismaland website for updates.

Update 3: Added a video by Alex Jefferis.

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An Abandoned Indonesian Church Shaped Like a Massive Clucking Chicken

Towering above the trees in a densely forested area of Indonesia lies a giant chicken. The gigantic structure has the body, tail, and head of the bird, even holding open its beak in what appears to be mid-squawk. Although the very old bird is quickly decaying, Gereja Ayam (as the locals call it) attracts hundreds of photographers and travelers to its location in Magelang, Central Java each year who are looking to explore the bird’s bizarre interior.

The building was originally built as a prayer house by 67-year-old Daniel Alamsjah after he received a divine message from God. Although he intended the building to resemble a dove, the locals care more that it looks like a chicken, nicknaming it “Chicken Church.” In addition to a prayer house, Alamsjah also used the building as a rehabilitation center, treating disabled children, drug addicts, and others. Alamsjah was forced to shut the center’s doors fifteen years ago after steep construction costs.

Currently five of the eight pillars holding up the building are crumbling while graffiti covers the inside walls. No longer a place for therapy, the building still serves as a place for worship and travel and according to locals—a private spot for many young couples to hide away from parents or prying eyes. (via Hyperallergic and Daily Mail)

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Calamityware: Mugs That Remind You It Could Always Be Much Worse

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Rendered in a style mimicking traditional blue willow pattern design, artist Don Moyer illustrated these fun It-Could-Be-Worse Mugs that remind you that no matter how bad your day is, things could be catastrophically worse. How bad? Think zombie poodles, pirates, attacking UFOs, and aggressive pterodactyls swooping from the sky. The mugs are a companion piece to his ongoing series of Calamityware dishware with similar abominations depicted on fine porcelain plates first featured here last year. The set of 4 mugs are currently funding on Kickstarter. (via The Awesomer)

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Urban Diversion: Playful Street Art Interventions on the Streets of France by OakOak

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Street artist OakOak (previously) continues to bring smiles and double-takes to his hometown of St. Etienne, France, an old industrial town with drab facades and cracked sidewalks ripe for his unique brand of visual jokes. He shares his love for superheroes, the Simpsons, Bruce Lee, and other pop culture references through mostly non-destructive, temporary interventions that interact with the immediate environment. Some of OakOak’s best works have been gathered into a new book, Urban Diversion (in French), and the artist had an exhibition earlier this year at le cabinet d’amateur earlier this year.

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The German City of Karlsruhe Issued a Parking Ticket to a Warped Car Sculpture by Erwin Wurm

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picture alliance / dpa

Austrian artist Erwin Wurm has become famous in part for his humorous sculptural treatments of iconic vehicles that are stretched, inflated, and twisted into seemingly impossible shapes. One such sculpture of a bent red Mercedes-Benz food truck installed on a street in Karlsruhe, Germany, just met the fate of an overzealous officer who slapped the car with a parking ticket without knowledge of the vehicle’s artistic merit. I hope this was a joke, I can only imagine Wurm’s fine for driving this through the city. (via Metro, Sham Jaff, Stellar)

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Stephen McMennamy’s #ComboPhoto Mashups Result in Humorous Juxtapositions

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Photographer Stephen McMennamy merges his original photography in humorous ways to create what he calls #ComboPhotos: two photos paired to create unexpected situations, usually involving huge constrasts in scale. Tractors and heavy machinery are turned into giant mechanisms for food delivery, while an ice cream cone becomes an actual snowy mountain top. McMennamy is also a creative director at BBDO Atlanta and you can see more of his work here. (via Colossal Submissions)

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Avocado Love Wool Sculpture by Hanna Dovahan

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Ukranian crafter Hanna Dovahan makes some pretty fantastic wool objects including animals, arthropods, and food which she sells in her Etsy shop. This avocado love piece is on a slightly higher plane of amazing.

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