Thursday Salute to Originals: The Walled Off Hotel
Is there anything more thrilling than dwelling in a piece of art? No, not just expressive architecture – but being surrounded by colorful, charismatic artworks? Soon you can travel to Bethlehem and find out for yourself in the new and beautiful Walled Off Hotel, which promises its occupants “the worst view in the world”. As alarming as the description sounds, your overnight stay will be not only thought-provoking, but full of beauty, terror, and wonder as well.
Let us explain: The Walled Off Hotel is the latest art installation from THE original street artist, Banksy. It is a fully functioning hotel that seeks to provide its residents the ultimate dystopian experience. Banksy and his art assistants spent over a year refurbishing an old hotel with artwork that will leave you speechless… Or with a lot to say, since he is known for his political and societal statements. The hotel is located between Palestine and Israel; a site that will no doubt draw attention and controversy, which is always Banksy’s intention.
But the Walled Off Hotel is a bit more special than the typical Banksy graffiti we’ve seen because it has completely transformed a typical overnight stay into works of art that display politically questionable pieces, wall-to-wall graffiti, sculptures, and themed guest rooms. Here’s the other uncommon thing: not all of the artwork inside and outside of the hotel belongs to Banksy. The entire exhibit is primarily designed to incorporate and argue the ongoing conflict within the region. Views of the army watchtower and pieces from the Israeli army barracks decorate certain suites for a very active night’s sleep.
Banksy and his colleagues have definitively given the occupants of this place much to consider while they sleep between a rock and a hard place of controversy, and for that, we salute this museum-turned-horror-house. Though Banksy’s graffiti is considered a new age classic, he never ceases to produce a new and original work of art in the public arena, much less transform an entire building into a social and political narrative.