Sunday, 6 September 2015

Dismaland; Call security!

I've always had a problem with 'Authority', or rather, 'Authority' has always had a problem with me.

If there's a security guard......he or she will assume that I am trouble. They follow me around - they stand next to me. Store detectives assume I'm a thief. Employers? Well, lets just say that never worked out too well.

So, after we got through security to get into Banksy's 'Dismaland', we had to go through 'security' again.

In this case it was a lifesize, real-life artwork by Bill Barminski;

A full scale, life like security station with body scanners and security guards in slightly slovenly uniforms.

That's right; there's a badge and I/D, a big, big hat and of course a gun.

There were CCTV cameras everywhere....watching my every move;

There was a baggage scanner, tables, a data scan and most worrying of all...... a box of rubber gloves marked 'Cavity search'.

As you can see - there was everything the well equipped security guard might need. There were hand held 'wands' to check for undeclared metal objects, a megaphone for shouting at us with and even a 'Dismaland' coffee. 

Maybe all that was missing was a box of doughnuts?

The 'security guards' were part of the artwork - they intimidated us as we came in.

They were insulting.

Robyn was repeatedly told to stop smiling, something she would always find impossible to do!

And, I was told to stop taking photos, to the point where my camera was seized and they did this to me;

And this;

And even this!

And then we were allowed into the 'Themepark', there will be more pictures of that tomorrow.
Obviously, every part of the exhibit was made out of cardboard - painstakingly painted to reproduce the smallest detail.
With the exception of the 'security guards', everything was just made of paper and glue.
And my take on that is very simple - all the guns and CCTV, the police and the army, all the paraphernalia of power and all just nothing.
All authority relies on us consenting to it....we let the pretend security guards mess us around just like we let the real ones do the same in the 'real' world outside.
Sometimes that's OK.
Sometimes it isn't.
At Dismaland, all we had to do was push past them - I could have sent all the cardboard stuff flying....but I didn't.
And in real life, if there are enough of us we don't need to put up with being ordered around or controlled either.
But we put up with it.
It's up to us.
Stick around for the rest of the tour.
Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)

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