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Exit Through The Gift Shop


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#41 Thom

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 10:05 AM

Thom wrote:
: In my opinion, I Am Still Here doesn't belong in such a conversation, at least not for having actually articulated anything about art.

Well, in fairness, Jeff didn't mention I'm Still Here (the Joaquin Phoenix film), he mentioned I'm Not There (the Bob Dylan film).


Thanks, Peter. That is completely fair. I did say I had a headache, right? Phew! Don't want to look like too big a fool. I am glad to know (or have it pointed out) that I'm Still here is not actually part of this conversation.

#42 Thom

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 10:43 AM

Jeffrey, I am happy that you don't plan to see I'm Still Here, I wish I wouldn't have. To be fair, I thought it was going to be so much better. I had actually thought that I would like it better than Exit.... Instead the Joaquin Pheonix film made my, "I Wish I Could Get Those Two Hours Back" list.

If I found more merit in the work that the street artists were doing, I would be more interested. But I quickly tire of their Fight the Power mode, except in rare instances of inspired, whimsical expressions. In this film, the imagery was pretty ugly; and the art in question was rather brash and annoying. The disrespect for law; the revelry in lying; the adolescent rebelliousness of the people in question; and the general unpleasantness and irresponsibility of the film's central subject were... hoax or otherwise... rather wearying to me.


I can see how this would affect your viewing and interest. I have an affinity for the rebel (or rebellion) and I am drawn to Bohemia. Overall I found Exit Through the Gift Shop to be a richly layered documentary (possibly fauxumentary) and an incredibly satisfying experience. The fact that it was also entertaining was an added bonus. Or maybe a complete distraction to the material and conversation it had, hmm...anyway...

Just some quick thoughts as I continue to nurse my migraine.

I liked the Blair Witch style mystery beginning and the sort of campy feel of hunting for snipes with a serious tone, as to not completely dismiss it from the get go. This also set a rythm for entertaining.

One thing I did go back-and-forth about was whether or not I believed Thierry Guetta was "real." Regardless, I thought this character/profile was done well and became easy to accept.

Street art is an interesting world. The transiton of that idea, the form and context, into an art gallery or museum is an upclose look at the process of how form and content are asorbed into the formal world of "art."

It could be said that this is a modern version of the decline of the Salon de Paris and institutional approval of art (creating and patronage) and the emergence of the impressionistic style and artist.

Once art changes into an acceptable form it begins to lose its meaning and the content becomes less and less poingiant. Slowly it becomes commericalized and the power is lost.

This film also deals with urban issues and gentrification and how the artist in an integral part of both.

It asks questions like, "What is art?" and "Who can make art?"

It focuses on artistic communities and the network(s) necessary for a created object to become art.

#43 Overstreet

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 07:45 PM

Sicinski:

What a load of shit this film is! And how fortunate for the film, its shadowy maker, and the critics so keen to make hay of it that the red herring of a "hoax" has cropped up around it, so as to distract from all the ways in which Banksy promises the world but delivers self-importance with a trickle of insight.
...
If the whole premise of Exit Through the Gift Shop -- not where it began, but of where it ended up, of where Banksy very deliberately took it -- is that the lousy, idea-free art-lite of Mr. Brainwash represents an emptying-out of a style and a movement that was once edgy and dangerous, if not outright political, then isn't it incumbent on Banksy to do everything necessary to demonstrate the validity of the work he and his film champions? As it stands, he doesn't. These guys are deemed okay because Guetta idolizes them, and then because Banksy considers them originators who Guetta in some way ripped off. But if Guetta's bad taste is the baseline for the entire enterprise, then we're going to need something more substantial. The great document of the street art movement that Guetta failed to deliver and the atmospheric social commentary on the state of street art Banksy salvaged from it both look discomfitingly similar: "check out my awesome friends."


Edited by Overstreet, 03 January 2011 - 07:46 PM.


#44 Thom

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 08:30 PM

I haven't read the entire Sicinski critique of the film but I find the above comments interesting. I can even understand why such things would be said and such an interpretation would come to be expressed. That being said, I think the assertion in the critique except saying that it is "incumbent on Bansky to do everything necessary to demonstrate the validity of the work he and his film champions" is either flawed or, potentially, against even the point of the film. First, I simply do not agree with the statement and find it more of a comment based on conditioned film viewing and an audience expectation. Second, the validity of street art lies in the lap of the audience, the receiver. The viewer completes the meaning or decode the encrypted message. This, to me, is what makes Exit... that much more brilliant; it is a film that is, in the end, replicating the street art method.

This film is more than a simple visual commentary on street art and whether or not it has been emptied meaning, power, or anything at all. It is a commentary on the consumption of art, on the audience of art, on the question of "how" art is defined and "who" defines it, on the very idea of whether or not Bansky (or street artists in general) even consider what they do art. It is about the art world and artistic networks.

#45 Ryan H.

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 12:33 PM

That being said, I think the assertion in the critique except saying that it is "incumbent on Bansky to do everything necessary to demonstrate the validity of the work he and his film champions" is either flawed or, potentially, against even the point of the film.

To get what Sicisnski is saying here, I think you really have to read his full review. Which is fascinating. More than any of the positive reviews, Sicinski's harsh response to the film has me itching to see EXIT THROUGHT THE GIFT SHOP.

Edited by Ryan H., 04 January 2011 - 12:34 PM.


#46 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 12:38 AM

New Doubts for a Film That Has Truth Issues
Joachim Levy . . . a Swiss filmmaker and editor now living in Zurich, worked with Mr. Guetta as an editor and producer on “Life Remote Control,” a film about the world of street art and other bits of scenesterism. It had appearances by indie luminaries like the artist Shepard Fairey and Dov Charney, the chief executive of American Apparel. Screened in 2006 and featuring a proudly frenetic editing style, it received attention from street culture magazines and, according to Mr. Levy, executives at MTV. “No one can pull the wool over your eyes if they’re going in two different directions at once” was a tag line.
But when Banksy, another of the film’s subjects, got hold of “Life Remote Control,” he pronounced it unwatchable and took over the camera himself. A few minutes of “Life Remote Control” and some footage from Mr. Guetta and Mr. Levy appear in “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” which subsequently became the story of how Mr. Guetta was transformed, with Banksy’s prodding, from a chronicler of street art into an artist himself, with his cut-and-paste works that now command tens of thousands of dollars. “Life Remote Control” also appears as an extra feature on the recently released DVD of “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” but Mr. Levy’s name does not turn up in the credits.
Now he has emerged to claim what he feels is rightly his. “I would like very much to be credited for the movie, for my work,” Mr. Levy, 34, said in a telephone interview this week. He praised Banksy as an artist but said he felt taken advantage of. . . .
New York Times, January 5

#47 Overstreet

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 10:50 AM

Look what's supposedly for sale on eBay: The Identity of "Banksy."

More at Mashable.

Edited by Overstreet, 18 January 2011 - 11:27 AM.


#48 Persona

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 11:17 AM

And, yet again:

This listing (260720844294) has been removed, or this item is not available.



#49 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 12:36 AM

Exclusive: Banksy eBay Seller Claims He Was 'Paid Off'
We contacted jaybuysthings via email to find out what happened. The listing had been previously pulled because the seller wasn't offering any kind of real, tangible product (hence the piece of paper). When we identified who we were and asked why it had been torn down a second time, someone (email name listed as "Unknown, Unknown") replied asking for proof of our professional affiliation. We shared the link to our original story about the eBay auction as identification and received this response, with a picture attached (see it bigger in the gallery below) around 3 AM today: "I spent 3 years finding the answer. I was paid off, now I can tell you nothing. All I can give you is this photograph."
Cinematical, January 20

#50 Darrel Manson

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 10:53 AM

Sidebar:
Banksey's art makes man homeless

#51 Darrel Manson

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 02:56 PM

For Banksy fans: His "Stained Glass Window" at MOCA

#52 du Garbandier

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 09:59 PM

Did Banksy plagiarize from this writer?