Untitled (Disneyland Opens)
Untitled (Disneyland Opens) is a collage by Jess that refers back to the inauguration of Disneyland in Anaheim, California in 1955, and suggests an alternate, more sinister version of events. The inaugural celebrations themselves are remembered for being tumultuous. The great popularity of the opening—together with thousands of counterfeited invitation passes—drew enormous and unexpected crowds that the park was not prepared for. Food and drinks ran out early on and several incidents such as a gas leak, broken rides, and an overcrowded steamboat that nearly capsized were reported. Jess’ modification of iconic images from the event adds a surreal and dark tone to the already chaotic scene: in his collage, a giant bee and other giant insects menacingly hover over the castle, and a Hippopotamus in an aggressive stance launches towards what now appear to be panicked crowds running for cover. As per several of his other collage works, Untitled (Disneyland Opens) is characterised by a restrained colour palette incorporating black-and-white cut outs and sepia tones, as well as by a playful approach to scale through the use of found imagery.