dismaland's reality

The spectacle of Banksy’s Dismaland in Autumn 2015 was the clearest and, perhaps, boldest attempt so far by the artist to instantiate many of the political-artistic ambitions that his/her art is geared towards: forcing viewers to experience their spontaneous relationship to the social world differently (artistic practices which Jacques Rancière would call a disruption of sensible or a practice of dissensus). Dismaland was interesting not insofar as created a ‘fake’ Disneyland, not insofar as it created a Debordian representation for us to gawk at and 'appreciate', but insofar as it attempted to disrupt the very distinction between fakery and representation. In other words, Dismaland’s provocation was that it was perhaps a Disneyland more real than Disneyland itself. It attempted to ‘unmask’ those energies, repressions, and exploitations constitutive of the very possibility of the imaginative environment Disney constitutes under capitalist relations: repression and exploitation as the condition for decadence.

We will only know what energies Dismaland helped to incite over time, if any. Pussy Riot have given us an initial glimpse with their release of this excruciating video – which feels like all too much (in the positive sense) like Death Grips at points – on the ‘refugee crisis’. (A timely release, given yesterday’s grotesque cartoon published by the Daily Mail, here reported by The Independent.) The song is unconfusingly titled Refugees In. Watch it below.