Does Banksy need an introduction? The infamous street artists has been gaining worldwide fame with tons of controversial and thought-provoking artworks in the last years. Despite the popularity of Banksy, the identity of the artist is not known, perhaps adding to their appeal?
Let’s get this out of the way first: this is not an ‘authorized’ exhibition, so do not expect original artworks to be on display here. All of the art in the ‘Mystery of Banksy’ exhibitions are replicas of the artists’ creations. Thanks to the quote of Banksy: ‘Copyright is for losers’, you can view over 150 reproduced artworks in the same place.
The Banksy exhibition
The exhibition can be visited in the Halle 622b, in Zürich Oerlikon. This is just a short train ride from the Zürich Hauptbahnhof, and the Oerlikon train station is right in front of the exhibition hall. It is advised to purchase tickets in advance, as the exhibition works with time slot for most tickets.
The exhibition starts with the famous artworks that Bansky has made around the conflict in Palestina. Their famous ‘Walled off hotel’ is partially reproduced and the story of the hotel is explained with informational displays.
It can get quite crowded in the exhibition (we visited on a Saturday afternoon). You can also opt to read the information about the art on your phone. You can scan a QR code at the beginning of the exhibition, the digital tour is available in German, English and French. This way, you don’t have to wait ‘in line’ to read the displays. The physical info displays are in both German and English as well.
What I particularly liked about the exhibition is how well-explained everything is. One of the first exhibition rooms has an entire wall dedicated to explaining Banksy from the early nineties until 2021. It helps you understand how the artist came to be, and how some of their work tie in with world events.
I particularly liked the Dismaland section of the exhibition. This quirky parody on Disneyland that Banksy created was so spot-on, and the video shown was really funny too. In addition, I enjoyed the fact that there was loads of information to read throughout the exhibition. I realised I actually knew very little about the background of Banksy before visiting this event!
The entrance fee
You should expect to spend around 1.5 hour in the Zürich Banksy exhibition. This allows you to thoroughly read all the information, admire the artworks on display and watch the docuvideos shown. While it makes for a great afternoon activity, I did feel that the CHF 28 entrance fee was … steep.
Especially combined with the anti-capitalistic views that Banksy often expresses in their art, it felt a bit ironic to pay so much for an unauthorized exhibition. That being said, the exhibition offers a lot wide range of art experiences in a unique environment so I don’t regret we visited. It would however been a nice gesture if more of the ticket proceeds would go to charity (currently, CHF 1 of each ticket is donated to the MV Louise Michel charity).
Despite this, I do recommend visiting this exhibition if you are interested in the work of Banksy. And then again, Zürich is one of the most expensive cities in the world, so few activities come cheap..
Visit the exhibition
Due to continuous popularity, the exhibition dates in Zürich have been prolonged until the 27th of August 2023. You can read more information about the ‘Mystery of Banksy exhibition’ on their website. Here, you can also purchase tickets to visit the event. Time slot tickets during weekdays cost CHF 26, while weekend tickets cost CHF 28.
Do you want more flexibility and not be bound to a time slot? Be prepared to shell out a whopping CHF 39 for a single ticket valid all day.
Halle 622b – The mystery of Banksy