Beginning on March 11th, Banksy will open the doors to his latest larger than life installation, The Walled Off Hotel, a fully functioning art hotel situated against the controversial barrier wall separating Israel from the Palestinian territories. The “hotel” functions as a museum, protest and gallery all in one, packed with the artworks from Banksy, as well as other artists around the world which will run indefinitely as of right now.
Knowing full well it’d be the first question most would ask, a FAQ on Banksy’s updated site begins with “Is this a joke?” replying that “Nope – it’s a genuine art hotel with fully functioning ensuite facilities and limited car parking. Operated by the local community, we offer a warm welcome to everyone from all sides of the conflict and across the world.” Continuing later saying that in fact the hotel “is not aligned to any political movement or pressure group. The aim is to tell the story of the wall from every side and give visitors the opportunity to discover it for themselves. We offer an especially warm welcome to young Israelis. Absolutely no fanaticism is permitted on the premises.”
Head over to Banksy’s website to find out more, and read on below for a peek at the site with photos of the installations thus far, as well as additional features of the hotel including mini piano residency’s from the likes of Elton John, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Flea, Hans Zimmer, and the current resident G3 of Massive Attack…
Outfitted with surplus items from an Israeli military barracks, this room offers a bed from $30 a night. No frills, includes locker, personal safe, shared bathroom, complimentary earplugs.
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. Comes with a complete set of Dead Sea bath minerals and an in-room dining service available upon request. Sleeps up to six.
Britain got its hands on Palestine in 1917 and the piano bar is themed as a colonial outpost from those heady days. It is equipped with languid ceiling fans, leather bound couches and an air of undeserved authority. Guests can peruse a collection of Banksy artworks that include vandalised oil paintings and statues choking on tear gas fumes. Warm scones and freshly brewed tea are served daily on fine bone china and the Walled Off Salad should not be missed.
This space enjoys complete autonomy from the rest of the hotel and is curated by the venerated historian and critic Dr. Housni Alkhateeb Shehada. He has assembled a permanent collection of real heft and significance. Many of the most notable Palestinian artists from the past 20 years are here – including Sliman Mansour with his iconic “And the Convoy Keeps Going”. An adjoining space is dedicated to temporary shows by upcoming artists. The gallery sells original work, prints and postcards.
This home-made attraction is dedicated solely to the biography of the wall. It contains state-of-the-art audio visual presentations and a very old tree. Other highlights includes an animated history of the region, military pornography and original beach sculpture from Gaza. The cinema plays excerpts from the mighty Oscar nominated ‘Five Broken Cameras’ – and one of those very same bullet-damaged cameras is on display. Curated in association with Dr Gavin Grindon from Essex University the museum contains almost fully fact-checked material and will be an ongoing repository for local stories, artefacts and testimonies.
And through it all the piano plays – by itself. Our remote controlled mechanical baby grand has been programmed with a bespoke score of contemporary arrangements, plus every night it will play back a concert recorded exclusively for the hotel. We start our residency programme with 3D who presents the greatest hits of Massive Attack played with three hands. Concerts start every night from 9pm. Upcoming artists include Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Flea and Hans Zimmer.