Banksy launched a dystopian art hotel in Bethlehem
The elusive British artist Banksy opened hotel in Bethlehem, not far from the wall that separates Palestine and Israel. The artist took part in arranging its premises and designing room interiors which have "the worst view of any hotel in the world." Elton John sang his songs at its opening party. On its website you can see photos of the rooms, notable for their views and Banksy’s art works inside.
The Walled Off hotel
is just 4 metres from the wall that divides the nation of Palestine from the state of Israel,
and all windows in rooms overlook it.
All windows in the Walled Off hotel’s rooms overlook the concrete wall. Photo: banksy.co.uk
Banksy says in his statement that his hotel has
"the worst view of any hotel in the world."
The street artist was not present at the opening, but walls in the hotel rooms are decorated with dozens of his art works. A spokesman for Banksy says that the hotel features the largest collection of his new works made in recent years.
Left: at the entrance to the Walled Off hotel visitors are greeted by a peculiar doorman, chained to a doorpost. Photo: Jo Brooks PR Instagram.
The hotel opens to guests on 20th of March, with bookings available via the website since 11th of March. Prices start form $30 per night for a bed in a shared room. Nine premises were decorated in a typical for Banksy "withered luxury" trend. Expensive things and furnishings look shabby and lose gloss. Seven rooms have been customized by Banksy, the other two were given to a Palestinian and a Canadian designers.
Shared room outfitted like an Israeli military barracks. Photo: banksy.co.uk
At the head of one of the beds, the artist depicted an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian protester thump each other with pillows, the feathers fluttering down towards the real pillows of the bed below (see the main illustration). In the "Presidential" suite, a water splashes into the jacuzzi out of a flowing water tank, similar to those that stand on the roofs of many Palestinian houses.
In a description to the Presidential suite we can read, "This palatial suite is equipped with everything a corrupt head of state would need — a plunge bath able to accommodate up to four revellers, original artwork, library, home cinema, roof garden, tiki bar and a water feature made from a bullet riddled water tank…" Photo: banksy.co.uk
When implementing the project, Banksy managed to keep incognito. His co-authors claim that they received only "parts of the puzzle" from him and have no idea if they came across a mysterious artist during his work at the hotel.
For the exhibitionists amongst you (as the website says) several windows are within range of the army watchtower. Photo: banksy.co.uk
British music icon Elton John performed remotely at the hotel’s launch party on the 4th of March,
prerecording especially for the occasion. Similar performances by other world-famous musicians are planned,
by Massive Attack. According to one version,
the elusive anonymous Banksy is the leader of this group
Although the Walled Off hotel can be interpreted as a kind of a political statement, the author of the idea claims that it’s not so. As the website states, "It is not aligned to any political movement or pressure group… We offer an especially warm welcome to young Israelis. Absolutely no fanaticism is permitted on the premises."
The hotel must work a year at least.
Room in a colonial style. Photo: banksy.co.uk
This is not Banksy’s first experience in tourism. Each of his street pictures becomes the object of pilgrimage. In 2015 he opened the Dismaland, his anti-Disneyland
in a seaside town of Weston-super-Mare in south-west England. In 36 days the park was visited by more than 150 thousand people from all over the world,
bringing the provincial city about 20 million pounds sterling. Later,
a freak attraction was dismantled,
and materials were given to equip a refugee
Witten by Vlad Maslow on materials of Banksy’s website and blouinartinfo.com